6 Ways to Help New Employees Feel Welcome, Get Settled, and Improve Their Job Performance
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average professional in today’s America stays in a position for only about four and a half years. For companies large and small, that means there are a lot of new employees coming in and out of the personnel department’s door. There are, consequently, many stories, both good and bad, about the “first day on the job” and how important that is in helping an employee achieve early and lasting success. In fact, successful onboarding during that first week can make a huge impact on turning a new employee into a faithful team player, one who may last a lot longer than 4.5 years!
Here therefore are six tips to consider on making your new hire feel the company love on his/her first day on the job:
- Welcome Wagon: It may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to make someone feel welcome is to actually welcome them to your organization. Too often, busy professionals don’t take the time to properly introduce themselves to the new kid in the cube. A simple hello, an email or better yet, a notecard, are all great options. Or, break the ice by hosting a welcoming gathering encouraging informal conversations for the new employee to get to know the team on a different level. These first impressions help make a new hire never second-guess a decision to take on a new job.
- Meeting of the Minds: Observing proper decorum in welcoming a new employee is a given. One of the most effective ways to socially integrate a new hire is to schedule a series of one-on-one meetings with coworkers, supervisors and colleagues. This can be done on the first day or throughout the first week, thereby enhancing the new employee’s understanding of what their coworkers actually do, and putting names with faces. The new hire can also quickly learn the expectations and needs of their colleagues and then hit the ground running. This sort of social integration can also work wonders to make a new employee feel accepted and comfortable in their new setting.
- Linked In: I’m not talking about the job search site in this case, but rather, the need to have a new hire’s technological needs linked in, plugged in, and ready to roll on their first day on the job. I’ve heard stories about new hires sitting in empty cubicles with no sign of technological life. That’s no way to treat a lady (or gentlemen, for that matter!). Even if your company does not have an extensive IT department, make the extra effort to prep your new hire’s workstation with a working computer, access to email, accompanying passwords, etc. as quickly as possible. Also, if your company issues security cards, parking cards, keys, or any other administrative items, ensure quick and easy access for your new hire ASAP.
- Great Expectations: Now that the employee is in the house, it’s a good idea to remind him or her why they are there. It may sound humorous, but in some large organizations, the day-to-day expectations of what a new employee will be doing are left off the table. In fact, priorities may have shifted or new duties assigned from the time a new employee was first interviewed to the first day on the job. (With today’s leaner and meaner workforce, “other duties as assigned” is quickly becoming the norm!) By ensuring your new hire is aware of any additional expectations or assignments as quickly as possible, the chance of everyone’s long-term happiness is strengthened.
- Training Coach: Assign a team member to guide your new employee through their “adjustment and transition period.” Coming into a new organization can be quite overwhelming. This coach can serve as more of a “go-to” resource more than a manager by providing a safe zone to ask questions and help ease those first-day anxieties.
- Quitting Time: Hopefully your new employee won’t be putting in his/her notice anytime soon! But what we’re talking about is that awkward thing no one ever talks about – quitting time or clocking out. A new employee will usually work longer hours in the beginning and gauge when others plan their end-of-day exit. Families, of course, also fit into this equation, and there may be a pre-negotiated leave time for a new hire. It’s a good idea to discuss leave time expectations for a new employee at the beginning so they can avoid the watchful eye of observant colleagues.
Put in the effort and invest in your onboarding experience! You will thus increase the possibility of overall satisfaction and long-term success for the employees you oversee.