How to make your new hire feel welcome
How do you make sure their first days and weeks in the workplace run smoothly?
The 'softer' side of employee orientation can be just as important in affecting employee productivity as the formal side. It is important to get this right on their first day as properly welcoming a new employee will reduce a person's anxiety, allowing them to learn quicker; saving managers and colleagues time in the long run. It can also influence the employee's work ethic. If they feel welcome and looked after, they are more likely to develop feelings of loyalty and contribute to a more positive team environment.
So here is our advice for how to make a new employee feel welcome:
Meet your employee
Make time to meet and welcome your employee on their first day. 'Facetime' is essential for developing a good rapport and working relationship. An employee will feel more accountable to you and the company if they have actually met you.
Schedule catch-up meetings for the next few weeks to see how they are getting on and explain how more formal updates will be structured therein.
Show them round and introduce them
It is not enough simply to 'drop' your employee off at their work station and expect them to figure everything out. Actually show your employee where all the facilities are – from the photocopier to the bathroom and kitchen – and introduce them to any colleagues with whom they are likely to work. An employee is much more likely to feel welcome and engage with colleagues to whom they have already been introduced.
Assign a mentor or 'buddy'
Appointing a more experienced peer to help the employee with day to day issues will enable your new hire to get up to speed more quickly. They won't sit there in silence struggling with the new software because you look too busy – there will be someone to ask. You can read our article on how to mentor staff here.
Ask for feedback
Asking them whether they feel their orientation has been sufficient shows you are keen for them to feel happy and confident in their new workplace, and that you are receptive to suggestions.
Take them to lunch
Use this as an opportunity to view your employee outside of the work environment. Don't talk about work, but share some personal details. Getting to know the person underneath the employee will be beneficial as it will help you to understand their strengths and may influence how you approach them as an employee later on.
Does your organisation have any branded merchandise? Are there mugs, pens or bags? Presenting your new hire with some on their first day can really help them feel at home.
Or see here for more employer advice information.