Managers often underestimate the importance of properly welcoming a new employee to their business.
Starting a new job is scary at the best of times and how we are treated in the first few weeks will determine an awful lot about our status in that business…
- Relationships should be built.
- Expectations should be established.
- Loyalty and engagement should be cemented.
Unfortunately, without a proper “welcome plan” in place, these simple but important details often fall flat; you could end up losing your new employee, or worse they could stick around but be completely unhappy and disengaged with your business.
So this week, we’re revealing 10 important tips for giving your new starter a proper welcome to your business, to help them feel like a valued member of your team from day one…
1. Warn your staff.
There is nothing worse than showing up to a new workplace and being greeted by confused, blank faces… “Umm – who are you? Can I help you?”
It’s just REALLY awkward and will certainly not help a new starter to feel valued.
Communicate with your staff, get them excited about the new arrival and they’re bound to give them a more warm welcome.
(Honestly, it’s the little things that help).
2. Be prepared.
You should have everything up and ready for your new starter from the moment they walk through the door. That includes:
- Any documentation they might need to fill out.
- A computer, workspace and stationery.
- Logins, passwords and software.
If they show up and you’re not ready for them, they’re bound to feel undervalued and you’re going to come across unorganised and lazy.
3. Let them start late.
Ok, so this may sound a little weird; surely they should start as they mean to go on?
But I personally always advise you to let new starters come in a little late on their first day.
- Firstly, it gives YOU a chance to prepare; you don’t want them waiting around while you check your emails, catch up with staff and prepare yourself for the induction.
- It will limit those awkward “early” moments. New starters will probably show up early; you don’t want them to have to sit around for you, awkwardly wondering what to do, where to go and who to speak to.
Instead, let them arrive a little later and welcome them to the team, yourself.
4. Use “The Buddy System.”
This may sound childish, but nominating a buddy for your newbie is a great way to ensure they stay happy and on track.
The buddy will be there to answer any questions and reveal all the written rules, like dress code and lunch times, as well as, unwritten ones, like brew-rounds and what NOT to cook in the microwave!
I would recommend you choose a buddy of a similar seniority, personality and possibly even age to your newbie; they’re more likely to get on and there won’t be any awkward hierarchical issues.
5. Introduce everyone.
Look, I know, the whole walk around the office can feel a little awkward…
But, especially in a bigger business, it’s important to introduce a newbie to the WHOLE team.
It will help to remove those awkward “who are you again?” moments that we mentioned earlier.
6. Do “lunch.”
This is a biggie; and weirdly, most companies don’t do it.
On your new starter’s first day, don’t let them lunch alone!
Either ask someone in your team to take them out (their buddy) or put on a team lunch (depending on your company’s situation).
This will give a better impression of your company’s friendly, sociable culture (as opposed to a solitary, silent lunch break) and will give your new employee a chance to get to know the team better.
Show them around and give them a chance to get comfortable with their surroundings (with the help of your team)!
7. Keep them busy!
You absolutely MUST keep your new starter busy, during their first week.
There’s nothing worse than having to chase down a new boss because you’ve already finished all of your work and have just been sitting around for the last half an hour (while they were in a meeting).
It makes new starters feel awkward and nervous (that they’re going to be seen as lazy).
If anything, plan too much for your new starter, from inductions and health and safety talks, to getting stuck in with their work and training – but do make sure it’s meaningful activity.
No one wants to be left reading through websites, brochures and leaflets for hours on end!
8. Do an end-of-week review.
Feedback is SO important to a new starter.
There will be a million thoughts running through their head (click here to read just some of them ) and they’ll definitely want to know whether you think they’re doing ok and settling in.
Be positive with your feedback; remember, it’s a lot to take in and your employee isn’t going to be perfect from day one.
9. Friday night beverages!
To end the week on a great note, invite your new starter out for drinks/ a celebration of some kind.
You could even shut up the office early (if you can) and show them how fun your office really.
Congratulate them on a great first week and make them feel loved and valued!
10. Write up a formal Induction Programme.
The tips we’ve mentioned in this blog are all about making your new employee feel welcome and as part of the team and should always go hand-in-hand with a formal induction programme.
Recruiter Pro Tip.
Your formal induction programme will include things like…
- Welcome packs, health and safety documentation and training.
- Signing of contracts, reading the employee handbook etc.
- Formal discussions about expectations, performance metrics and reviews.
- On-the-job training (for employees who’ll have to immediately get stuck in).
Make sure you don’t overwhelm new starters on their first day, bombarding them with boring documentation; get them to do the necessities and then break the day up with more interesting tasks.
If you’d like to find out more about how to write up your formal induction programme, click here.
Ready for your new starter..?
As long as you have these (or similar) processes in place, your new starter will soon start to feel like a part of your team! It really is that simple.
Of course, don’t just stop caring when a “newcomer” becomes an “old hack.” You need to make sure your employees are engaged all the time (this post can help you with that!)
If you’d like to find out more about creating a happy, loyal and engaged workforce for your business, click here and sign up to this blog.
Happy employees really will help your business to thrive.- Anthony Hughes