4th December 2015
The first day at work is a peculiar moment since both employees and organisations are trying their best to make a great first impression. Viewed from the perspective of the employer, the first day is critical – new employees join existing teams, get their first look into the workings of the company and participate in orientation workshops. All in all, it's in your best interest to make your new employees feel welcome. Only then they'll turn into a real asset to your organisation. Here's how!
Develop a strategy
Involve everyone working at the company in developing your special welcoming strategy. Ask around to see what their first impressions were, what was missing, when they felt lost. Brainstorm together and come up with solutions.
Important point – write it all down, distribute among the team and have everyone ready for the first day of the new hire. Make your team realize that everyone plays an important role in the process of onboarding.
Have their workspace ready
If your new employee shows up and discovers that the company isn't technically ready to welcome him or her, it creates a bad impression that’s hard to beat. The new area should be organised, clean and equipped with everything they'll need to do their job. Make sure everything works – a lagging laptop will only serve to embarrass you.
Make key introductions
First of all, you should introduce the new employee to their immediate co-workers, as well as supervisor. It's a good idea to introduce new hires to the company’s CEO – this is how you build a positive impression.
Have the manager there
Managers are often busy doing their tasks and attending meetings that they miss out on getting acquainted with the new member of their team. This can make new hires feel insignificant and confused as to who they should report to. The manager should be present; it'll just make your life easier.
Prepare a welcome kit
Prepare a welcome kit for any new employees. Include information about the company, an employee handbook, a welcome letter, onboarding schedule and training materials.
Set up a mentor system
Whenever you've got a new person coming on board, assign one employee to take care of the new hire and act as their mentor. They will show them around, take them to lunch, make introductions and offer support.
Make sure they're not alone at lunch
Lunch is a critical moment during the day – never allow new employees eat their lunch alone. Inviting them to lunch with the manager or the team will make them feel immediately included and help in the first steps toward building new relationships. This could be a great time to have a team lunch, allowing your employees time to get to know one another.
This is simple – training and orientation are a must, but it might be a bit too much to place it all in one day. Try to spread training sessions across the first week or two to allow some time for the knowledge to sink in.
Immerse them in company culture
Your objective should be immersing the new hire as quickly as possible into the organisational structure of the company – that's what will ultimately make them feel like a valuable part of the team. Involve new employees in social activities, encourage them to speak out and express their opinion.
With every new hire comes new responsibility, but organising a smooth welcoming procedure will only help you to put new employees on the track to success.Author Bio
This blog post was written by Kelly Smith. Kelly works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. She also provides career advice for students and job seekers and is passionate about the Australian startup scene.