Onboarding processes vary from company to company, depending on the industry, company size, and culture. Above all, it’s important that new employees feel welcomed and appreciated as they settle into the office. In other words, make it a point to let new hires know you’re excited to have them on the team!
As our very own Jonathan McClellan, Hallmark Business Connections’ Employee Recognition Segment Director, says, “A formalized, thoughtful and purposeful onboarding process is going to help strengthen employee engagement and connection.”
Creating a comfortable space for new hires can be accomplished with just little preparation and a few employee volunteers, but will make a world of difference during an employee’s first few weeks.
If you aren’t sure exactly how to best onboard a new employee, try out some of these tips we’ve found:
1) Create a Mentor Program
According to Fast Company, having a seasoned employee show a new hire the ropes helps with the settling-in process. “Whenever a new person is brought on board, assign someone to spend time with [them] to show [them] how things work, go for lunch together, and offer support and guidance when needed.”
McClellan recommends “that mentors come from a different department than the one where the new hire works, to encourage greater exposure across the organization.” Whether it’s one mentor or several who volunteer and rotate, it is a great way for a new person to feel personally welcomed by the staff and get to know their co-workers one-on-one.
2) Get Personal
“To build a strong working relationship, you want to get to know your coworker on a more informal and personal level. During their first week invite them to coffee or lunch. This makes them feel welcome and also gives you a chance to find out more about who they are as a person,” says LifeHacker.
As a bonus, LifeHacker says taking time out of your day to make a personal connection with a new employee will reveal how they’ll fit into the company: “By finding out more about their background and interests, you can also get a better idea of their skills and how you might work together in the future.”
Another way to put a smile on a new hire’s face during an overwhelming first day is to write out a personalized welcome card and leave it on their desk. It’s a way to remind them in writing that you’re excited to work with them and welcome them to your team.
3) Make the Office Introduction Special
Don’t just give the traditional office tour: “Share the history of the company as well as personal stories of mistakes, successes and lessons learned. Answer questions and cover expectations for team members to help [the business] continue its success,” says Entrepreneur.
That isn’t to say the classic office tour isn’t crucial to the introductory process. CommonGood Careers reminds employees to introduce new hires to the whole staff and show them where the mailroom, copy machine, lunchroom and restrooms are on their first day so they feel comfortable in the office.
4) Assign Work and a Workspace
A key to settling in, once the office tour and initial introductions are over, is making space for a new hire to call their own. Your ERC recommends preparing a space that is organized and set up with everything a new hire will need to do their job before the first day, so you’re not scrambling day of.
Once their desk area is organized, be prepared with assignments for the first day. Intuit suggests that companies “assign enough activities to keep the new employee occupied and busy. At the end of the day, find out how the day went, answer any questions the new employee has, review their work, and appreciate it.”
Feedback during the first few weeks could be in the form of an email, a meeting, or formal recognition. Open communication is the key. New hires should feel comfortable reaching out if they have questions or need help. Says McClellan, “Companies that get it right leverage all channels of communication available to them to provide timely and meaningful feedback.”
Making new employees feel comfortable during their first few days of work will ensure a positive welcome to the position and company. As a plus, the above onboarding tips can do double duty: engaging your current employees in a mentor program and office introduction will remind them what they love about their job and your company, too.
How do you welcome new employees to your company?