Critical to the success of many businesses is hiring and retaining the right employees.
It’s true that managers are busy, but when it comes to the overall success of a business, it is the job of the manager to make sure that he or she not only hire the right individuals, but also make the employees feel they belong in the organization. According to Lin Grensing-Pophal in her book Motivating Today’s Employees, arranging a warm, informative welcome will allow new employees to start off on the right foot.
“Those first few days and weeks in a new job — whether the employee is transferring from within the company, or is new to the organization — are key to a long-term positive relationship,” writes Grensing-Pophal. Offering a proper welcome will allow new employees to feel more comfortable and confident in their new workplace, leading to increased productivity as well as strong foundations for better compatibility with existing employees.
Sounds pretty sensible; the better informed one is about expectations and culture in the workplace, the better he or she will perform.
If you are in a management position, here are a few things you can do to make new recruits feel welcome:
- Think about the office culture: Before you even think about planning a warm welcome orientation for a new hire, you need to think about whether you even hired the right person. Granted, you might not know for sure if you hired the perfect superstar for the job until you see how well he or she really performs, but don’t overlook personality and compatibility with the rest of the office. You need the right person for the job, but the person also needs to fit in with the rest of the team. The key is to increase the overall productivity by having a team that gets along well with one another.
- Tour and announcement: Regardless of whether the business is small or large, it can be immensely helpful for new employees to get a tour of the office grounds on the first day. Show them where all the necessities are, including the kitchen, bathrooms, important offices and other equipments. Showing them around the office will make them feel more comfortable with the new environment and new faces. Prior to the official first day of the new employee, make an announcement either through company bulletin or, board, or via email, about the newcomer and his or her job. Making a simple announcement will oftentimes encourage your existing employees to introduce themselves to the new recruit. It saves you the time and awkwardness of inundating the newcomer with too many names and too much information on the first day.
- Personalize by asking questions: Like many other great experiences in life, you want your employees’ first weeks on the job to be personalized. Everybody has a different learning style, so figure out with which learning style benefits your employee best; whereas some people prefer to learn from manuals, others prefer hands-on training. Ask questions, and get to know your recruits.
- Consider extra attention for the first day: Now, this isn’t to say you need to baby your new recruits. After all, they are more than likely full-fledged adults. But in many cases where there are multiple employees, new recruits may not necessarily be given important tasks on their first day. Whatever it is, give them something to do; whether it’s just reading through the company manual or policies, or completing small tasks, your new employees will feel grateful and valued at their new job.
- Buddy system: Although it is your job as the manager to take charge in welcoming your new hire, it can be extremely helpful to enlist the help of an existing employee. In other words, buddy up – let your newcomer work with a friendly existing employee. Your existing employee can show the ropes for the first month or so, and provide advice and perspective as a peer and a co-worker – definitely a different angle than the one coming from the boss.
- Check in at the end of the day: It really doesn’t take too much to make newcomers feel welcome, and their comfortableness and confidence on the job can be boosted simply by you checking up on them at the end of the day. Simply seeing how they are doing will let them know they are valued, and that they can ask you for guidance and help when confronted with a problem.