It’s always hard being the new kid on the block in any environment, but if a company plays its cards right and takes special care, they can give a new employee such a great welcoming that they’ll feel part of the family in no time.
While companies don’t have to hold someone’s hand throughout the first few weeks on the job, any business should understand that newbies will feel a bit anxious when they start fresh somewhere.
Due to the fact that workplace loneliness is very real, companies of all sizes should follow these steps to ensure that no new employee should ever feel nervous or isolated during their first day on the job (it also doesn’t hurt to get employee benefits in place to increase retention).
Get in touch again before the first day
Once someone has the job, there’s going to be some phone calls and emails soon afterwards. However, if the employee doesn’t start at the company for potentially another 3 to 4 weeks, then communication will understandably dry up. The transition of starting a new job is helped when there’s some correspondence before the first day. A company could simply call or email to say how excited they are for the employee to start and that they shouldn’t hesitate to get in contact if there are any problems or questions.
Ensure everything is set up before they arrive
Last-minute scrambling to find the new employee a laptop and busily scrubbing the desk clean is a bit of a bad look. If there’s no welcoming guidebook and everyone looks a bit frazzled as soon as you step into the door, then it feels like either no one cares very much that it’s your first day or, even worse, that they forgot entirely until someone gave a quick reminder. A little goody bag (with some branded company swag or a box of chocolates, for example) is a bit of fun and a nice gesture, as is a clean desk with a laptop or desktop computer ready to go. Some companies choose to use onboarding software to help set a schedule, as this helps everyone understand what has and hasn’t been covered for the new employee.
Give a tour and meet & greet
While you give a newbie a tour of the workplace and explain little things like how the coffee machine and scanner work, take the time to introduce them to some key figures of the company. It helps break the ice and gives the new employee a proper orientation of how things work. If they are working within a big team, make sure that a welcome lunch takes place at a nearby restaurant or the office kitchen, as this type of collaboration in the team can help boost morale and productivity.
Ease the new employee into the tasks gently, as it would be overwhelming to have them working on a significant project as soon as they’ve sat down. Only once they’ve worked out how everything functions and what’s expected of them, bring in the tasks that you hired an employee for.
Give the new employee a mentor/buddy
A newbie should have someone to turn to whenever a question arises, no matter how big or small. Make sure it’s someone patient! New employees will have hundreds of questions, and if they feel like they are annoying or interrupting someone, they’ll learn far slower, and you won’t get the best out of them.
Ask for feedback at the end of the day
Is the job what they hoped for? Was there any question they have been afraid to ask during the interview? Did they get all the info they needed? Conducting an initial feedback session with the team manager at the close of day will help companies understand how new employees are feeling and whether more can be done during the onboarding process to keep everything smooth. It’s far better to get this out of the way and show that as a company, you have an open door policy and are great at talking things out.