Help new starters settle into their new workplace
So you’ve found your new employee to join your team – make sure you make them feel welcome from the very beginning, before if you can! Here are our top ten tips to help your new starters settle into their new workplace and feel welcome from the very beginning.
Don’t do what one company did when I started, take me to my ‘uncleared’ desk with my predecessor’s bits and pieces still on the desk and in the drawers; not introduce me to anyone beyond my immediate colleagues, gave me a list of names I should talk to and left me to it! I was a little shocked, but I handled it!
So, here are a few pointers for helping your new work mates feel welcome, that we can sometimes forget in our busy schedules.
Keep in touch with them prior to their start date.
To make your new starter feel in the loop with the company prior to their start date, it is a good idea to send them regular emails and updates prior to when they start work. If you have a company newsletter, send them the last couple of editions. It could even be a good idea to email them across a timetable for their first day or week so that they will have more of an idea of what to expect after they arrive at the office.
I had a lovely experience with one company who invited me for an informal drink with my new manager and colleagues, before my start date
Make sure that everyone is aware of your new employee’s start date
Prior to your new person starting work, try to make sure that everyone in the office is aware of the date they will be starting. This means that your employees will automatically be more welcoming to the new employee and make them feel more at ease.
Make sure that their work area & email is ready for them
Make your new employee feel like their desk and work area is really their own, and ensure it is clean and tidy before they start. It is also a good idea to ensure that their computer and email address are working (you don’t want them standing around waiting for their computer to be fixed on their first day!) and that all of the necessary stationery has been ordered and is waiting for them. It could even be worth writing them a little welcome card or putting a welcome sign on the office door to make the whole thing a little less daunting for them.
Introduce them to the team
After your new employee has arrived, it is important to give them a tour of the office and introduce them to each member of the office individually as well as explain (or get the employee in question to explain) what job role they perform. This will have a massive positive impact on how much your new employee will feel part of the team. It could also be a good idea to have them sit with other members of the team for a couple of hours per week so that they can have a better idea of what it is that everyone does on a day to day basis.
Lay out a timetable
If you cannot have their whole induction on their first day then set up a schedule with your new employee detailing when they will receive parts of their initial training, or key meetings with new colleagues. This will make the new employee feel more at ease knowing that they are not just going to be thrown in at the deep end.
Give them a buddy or a mentor
It is a good idea to buddy your new employee up with another member of their team. Obviously, a lot of what they learn will be down to you, the employer. However, giving them a mentor from the team that is not you means that they will always have someone to ask for help or advice if you are not around and will make their integration into the team easier. It is also a good idea to let the mentor know their responsibility prior to the young person’s start date, this will give them time to prepare their week around being a mentor and will ease stress for everyone.
Give them a warm welcome on your social media
Welcome them online – make a splash about your new employee on the social networks. This will make your new employee feel more welcome as well as introducing them to your customers and social media following. It will also increase your social interaction with clients and customers so it’s a win-win situation!
Provide a clear Job Description
It is important to respect your employee as an individual and avoid micromanaging them. However, especially if your employee is a young person, it is important to clearly outline what tasks and assignments you wish for them to complete and how/when you expect them to be completed. Encourage your employee to ask questions about this and to approach you or a member of the team if they come across something that they do not understand (this is where it is especially handy to assign them to a mentor).
Schedule in regular meetings with them and encourage feedback
In your employee’s first week of employment it is important to schedule in a few meetings with them either on a one-to-one basis or as part of a group. This means that they will be able to check in with your with any feedback they have on their first few days and will make them feel a little less lost. Having a group meeting with the rest of the team included will give the new employee more of an opportunity to make their voice heard and will enable them to partake in group discussions.
Organise a social event
Organising a social event after work hours is a great way for new and old employees to get to know one another in a more relaxed environment.