Think back to when you first started your current job, you may remember how stressful is was. The acquisition of a new job comes with a jumble of emotions; excitement and relief all mixed up with apprehension, anxiety and a lot of questions. You are about to sign on the dotted line to spend most of your waking hours in place you don’t know much about yet. There will be a list of concerns and unknowns, both big and small. Will you get on with the rest of team? Will you enjoy your new role? Where will you get lunch?
As an employer it is your responsibility to put your new employees at ease. The sooner they settle, the sooner they become an asset. Let us help you to make the integration of your new team members comfortable and effective.
- Contact them before their start date
Once employers have secured a new team member, gotten everything signed and dates confirmed, they tend not to come into contact with them until their first day. This can leave your new employee feeling a bit abandoned. They will enter the building on the first day feeling like they are on the back foot, unsure of where they are going and if they are being expected. You want them to come along feeling positive, informed and ready to hit the ground running. By staying in contact with them in the days leading up to day one, whether by e-mail, phone call or social media, they will feel valued and ready to go.
- Prepare their desk
Clear and clean their desk before they arrive. It may seem like a small detail, but if an employee arrives to find a desk that is dirty or still cluttered with the last person’s old things, they are not going to get the impression that you are happy or excited to have them. When presenting them with a clean, empty desk you are showing them that there is a space here just for them. A space which they can make feel like their own.
- Create a welcome pack
When entering a new workspace, or when working within a new team, there is nothing more uncomfortable than having to constantly interrupt other people’s days to ask basic questions. To relax your new employee, and to make them feel like the answers are easy to come by, prepare a welcome pack. This should contain details about the workplace, your schedules, your codes of conduct, the set up and user instructions to any machinery and any branded material.
- Get the boring stuff out of the way
There is always a pile of HR paperwork to get through on the first day. Don’t leave your new employee in limbo all day, it is hard enough getting to grips with a new job without constantly having to leave to fill out bits of paper. Get this all done in one big chunk right at the beginning of the day, so that your new employee can focus and get on with the business of learning the ropes.
- Take them on a tour
This acclimatises your new employee to the space; where the toilets are, the various departments, where to grab a coffee and where to park. What a tour also does is gives the rest of your team an opportunity to meet and greet them, to make them feel welcome. The rest of your team will now know who the ‘new-person’ is, and will be in a better position to help them out whilst they are settling in.
- Give them a task
You don’t want to leave your new team member twiddling their thumbs all day, but at the same time you don’t want to start them off with a heavy or urgent task right away; acclimatising to a new work environment is already quite the task. So, make sure you have some appropriate ‘work’ for them to do on their first day, nothing super important but also enough to make them and their skills feel valued.
- Introduce them to the team
Pick a low stress day, most likely a Friday, to have your whole team take some time out to meet the new employee(s). This gives your new addition a chance to work out what everyone does, and an opportunity to scout out like minded people to whom they might be able to come to should any issues or questions arise.
- Connect with them outside of work
We project only certain parts of our personalities when in a professional environment. There are many that would say that you never really know a co-worker until you have been out with them. So, organise an ‘out-of-hours’ event to help your new employees to connect with their new co-workers. This event could be anything from a team lunch or night out, to an activity such as go-karting or 5-a-side. If these are not possible, then at least make sure they are added to any social media feeds or groups, to reiterate that they are now part of the team.
- Be positive
Positivity is important in general anyway, but it is especially crucial in creating an impression on new team members. Having a ‘can do’ and forward-thinking attitude is inspiring and sets a precedent for how you wish others to approach the challenges of the job. More specifically though, with new employees, it is important that you encourage them to get involved and give praise to their contributions, they must feel listened to and valued.
- Ask them for feedback
Feedback and criticism is important in all areas of business in order for your practices to grow and improve. The way in which you welcome new staff is one of these areas. So, get some feedback. How was their first week? Is there anything they feel that they still need or don’t know? Is there anything you could have done differently? This will help you to improve for the next new addition, and it also reinforces an atmosphere of collaboration, humbleness and respect.
The most successful businesses succeed because they are part of a connected and well-oiled machine. Every employee should feel cared for, valued and respected. This must start from day one, because first impressions really are everything, and a rocky first week can be tricky to come back from. Employ these simple practices, and your new recruits will feel at home in no time.