March 22, 2023    |    By

Hiring a new employee can be an exciting experience for your company. It’s a chance to bring new ideas, skills, and perspectives into the organization – but it can also be a challenge to ensure that the new hire successfully transitions into their role. It’s important that you don’t just throw them into the deep end and hope for the best.

Just because they have all the skills and experience required to do the job doesn’t mean they’re familiar with your organization’s processes and expectations. Not to mention, they’ll be working in a completely new environment with a bunch of strangers.

That’s why it’s vital that you make welcoming a new employee into your organization an intentional, proactive process. The more time and effort you put into your welcoming process, the more comfortable new employees will feel, and the faster they’ll hit the ground running.

Is It Necessary To Welcome A New Employee?

If you don’t take the time to welcome new employees, it’s going to take them much longer to get comfortable in their new environment and to get into the groove of things.

The following are some of the main reasons why it’s so important to welcome new employees in a thoughtful and intentional manner:

  • Acclimate the new employee to their role: Welcoming someone into the organization allows you to communicate the expectations of their role and how they fit into the bigger picture. By explaining your values and showcasing them in how you welcome the employee, you can ensure that the new hire is aligned with your company culture.
  • Boost employee engagement: Doing things to make new employees feel welcome and included can help them become more engaged. As a result, they’ll feel like they have a stake in the company’s success.

By fostering such commitment to your company with a comprehensive orientation process, your new employee is more likely to contribute to increased profits, enhanced productivity, better safety records, and better customer evaluations. Essentially, effectively onboarding new employees will lead to growth.

  • Increase employee retention: Replacing employees that leave your organization is expensive. Not only do you have to make do without them until you find a replacement, but you’ll also spend a significant amount on advertising the position, interviewing candidates, hiring new employees, and training new employees.

By properly welcoming new employees, you’ll make them feel like part of the team from the get-go, leading to longer employee retention rates and reduced employee absenteeism and tardiness.

What To Do Before A New Employee’s Start Date

The process of welcoming new employees starts well before they arrive for their first day of work. You should prepare for your new hire’s first day on the job to ensure that they have the resources and support needed to hit the ground running.

For example, you’ll want to ensure that their workstation is set up with all the equipment and supplies needed to do their job. Otherwise, there’s little they’ll be able to do on their first day — and they’ll immediately feel like they don’t belong there since they don’t even have their own space.

Besides setting up their workstation, you’ll want to provide them with everything else they’ll need for their day-to-day, such as a parking pass, contact lists, and more. Finally, ensure that you take care of all the necessary paperwork beforehand.

Get The Paperwork Out Of The Way

When you hire a new employee, there will be a ton of paperwork involved. From the offer letter to tax forms and more, a lot needs to be filled out and submitted for you to officially employ the individual. To ensure you don’t bog down their first day with paperwork, it’s best to get most of this out of the way before their start date.

This means sending them the appropriate forms via email or other digital tools well before they arrive at your office. This will allow them to fill out the required paperwork in the comfort of their own home, so they can start their first day feeling prepared and ready to go.

In addition to saving time, it also gives the new employee a chance to look over all of the paperwork beforehand, which means that if they have any questions, they can ask you as soon as they come in.

Effective Ways To Welcome New Employees

Now that you’ve taken care of the logistical aspects of the onboarding process (setting up their workspace, getting the paperwork out of the way, etc), it’s time to consider how you can make your new employee feel welcomed and appreciated. Remember, your goal is to make them feel like part of the team, so don’t overlook any small details. Here are a few effective ways you can do just that:

1. Give Them An Overview Of The Company

The first thing you should do when welcoming new employees is to give them an overview of the company. Talk about what your company does, how it has grown over the years, and its core values.

Explain why the company was started and how you are striving to make an impact on the world. This will help the new employee feel more connected to the organization and give them a sense of pride in their work.

Of course, you may have gone over some of this information during the hiring process. As such, you don’t necessarily have to give them an overview of your company in person. Instead, you can provide this information in a written format, such as an employee handbook.

This ensures that you’re not telling them something they already know but also gives them a chance to refresh their memory and ask any questions they may have. Alternatively, you can also provide this information as a part of a welcome presentation or video.

2. Set Expectations For The First Day

Besides setting general expectations for what you expect from a new hire, provide a set of realistic expectations for their first day. Doing so will give them structure for their first day, so they don’t feel lost.

However, make sure expectations are realistic – you don’t want to swamp new hires on their first day. If their first day becomes overwhelming because you give them too much to do, they’ll become frustrated or stressed out. As such, limit their tasks to things they can complete within a few hours.

This will give them enough time to get acclimated to their new surroundings, meet their new team, review whatever information you’ve provided, and settle in.

3. Provide A Schedule For The Week

In addition to giving them a list of tasks to complete for the day, provide your new employees with a schedule for the entire week. You can be as detailed or as general as you like, but be sure to include any significant deadlines or meetings.

By providing a schedule to new hires, you’ll make them feel more prepared and organized, reducing any stress or worries they might have about starting strong since you’re essentially giving them a roadmap to success.

Schedule Any Necessary Training

If the job requires additional training, whether the new hire needs to learn new skills or needs to become familiar with your processes, make sure they have a clear schedule of when and how the training will take place. This will help them feel more prepared, informed, and ready to tackle the job.

4. Give Them A Tour

Because they’re working in a completely new environment, it’s crucial that you provide new hires with a tour of the office. Doing so will allow you to show them where everything is, from their workspace to the breakroom and the restrooms.

In addition, giving them a full tour will help them feel much more comfortable navigating their new environment as well as feeling at home in their new surroundings. It also allows you to talk about the company culture as you show them the office.

Let Them Know About The Company Culture

While giving new hires a tour, you can explain the ins and outs of your company culture. For example, you can review the dress code, the designated work hours, and more. Talking about these things during the tour also allows the new employee to ask any questions about the office or the culture.

5. Introduce Them To The Team

One of the most challenging aspects of beginning a new job is working with people you don’t know. Introducing yourself to a group of strangers can be challenging, especially if you’re more introverted. As such, it helps if you introduce new employees to the people they’ll be working with. You can even introduce them as you give them a tour of the office.

Handling introductions on their behalf can help eliminate the awkwardness of meeting new people and make new employees feel more comfortable from the start. Whether or not you’re able to introduce new hires to everyone during the tour, make sure they meet everyone they’ll be working with afterward.

Schedule A Team Meeting

Even if you introduce the new employee to the team during the tour, you should schedule a team meeting after the new hire’s first day. Doing so will give everyone time to get to know the new hire better. The new employee and your existing team can ask each other personal questions to learn more about one another and discuss expectations.

This meeting can foster a positive, collaborative team atmosphere right away. It also allows your new employee to ask more questions about their specific role in the team.

6. Assign A Colleague To Assist

Although there’s a lot that you can do to help onboard the new employee, you’re still in a management position, which means there’s a hierarchy that can prevent some new hires from feeling 100% comfortable asking specific questions or expressing certain concerns.

Not to mention, you may not have the time to hold their hand all day long – not to mention throughout the rest of the week.

As such, consider assigning one of their new colleagues to assist in the onboarding process. This person can be the go-to person for any questions or concerns your new hire has.

In addition, they’ll likely feel more comfortable asking a colleague for help if they need it. Finally, having a colleague to talk to can give them someone to socialize with, which can help them adjust to their new work environment.

7. Encourage Breaks

Encourage new employees to take breaks throughout the day. A short break, whether for a snack or a few minutes to relax, can help them stay focused and productive. Not to mention, it can help prevent them from getting overwhelmed by what they have to do or the amount of information they need to learn, especially on their first day.

Besides helping ensure that their first day goes smoothly, encouraging them to take breaks lets them know it’s not frowned upon. The last thing you want is for your new employees to be afraid to take a short break even if they need one.

8. Check In At The End Of The Day

Be sure to check back in with your new employee at the end of their first day to see how they’re doing. Doing so shows them you’re invested in their success and care about their experience. This is also the perfect time to answer any questions or concerns they may have, as well as provide them with feedback about their performance so far.

Just be sure to end the day on a positive note. This will make the new employee feel good about their first day – even if they were a little overwhelmed by it – and it will help make them feel more excited for the days ahead.

Employee Onboarding Pitfalls To Avoid

You can do many things to ensure that your new employee starts off on the right foot. Unfortunately, there are a few things that can also hinder the onboarding process. Here are a few of the most common employee onboarding pitfalls that you should avoid:

  • Don’t ask them to do too much at once: Trying to cram too much information or tasks into their first day can be overwhelming for new employees. Doing so can impact their confidence by making them think they’re not up to the task. Instead, give them time to adjust and settle in.

Focus on introducing them to their role and giving them the information they need to succeed.

  • Don’t make assumptions: Everyone learns differently, so don’t make assumptions about what someone already knows. Be explicit with instructions and take the time to explain everything thoroughly. Additionally, don’t make assumptions about what they will or will not be interested in regarding specific tasks or projects.
  • Don’t forget to follow up: Don’t forget to follow up with your new employee at the end of their first day and throughout the onboarding process. Regularly checking in can help you stay on top of their progress and ensure they have all the support they need. It can also help build a strong relationship between you and your new hire.

Create A Positive Experience For Your New Hires

Creating a positive onboarding experience is vital to the success of any new hire. By taking the time to introduce them to the company, answer any questions they may have, and make them feel welcome, you can help ensure that their first day goes as smoothly as possible.

Besides introducing them to the team, giving them a tour of the office, and providing them with the information they need, consider a personal touch, such as writing them a welcome letter or giving them a welcome gift. Going the extra mile to create a positive experience on their first day will help them become more engaged and confident, which will pay off in the long run.

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This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.