Think back to your first day at a new job. Remember how stressful and overwhelming it was? Now that you are the one welcoming new team members, it’s important to help them feel comfortable and part of the team. Here are 10 simple ways you can help ease their onboarding as they start a new job.
Actively establish a welcoming and supportive company culture. This is number one because it is critical to employee satisfaction and retention. Your workplace should be a positive, supportive community, and the sooner you help new hires feel like they’re a part of that community, the better. The majority of executives and employees agree that having a strong and distinct company culture is vital to the success of the business. It drastically lowers the employee turnover rate from near 50% to a percentage in the low teens. Employees report feeling happier and working harder at companies that have a strong sense of community, and therefore want to stay. Your company should be its own little family where everyone feels accepted and appreciated. There are a few steps you can take to help new hires feel a part of your brand’s culture and community right from their very first day. Get them connected to your brand on social media. Give them your contact information and the contact information of the people they will be working closely with. Make sure they are aware of and invited to any upcoming company events.
Give them a detailed tour with insider information. Let your new employees know where all the important places around the office are. But don’t just limit yourself to where to find the copier and where the bathrooms and water cooler are. Show them where people like to meet and chat on their breaks. Introduce them to a space where they can go when they need a little peace and quiet. Make a little cheat card with all the critical phone numbers. Show them how to make themselves feel at home in your workspace.
Make introductions. It is so hard to be new. And when you think about the fact that we spend 40 hours -- ¼ of our week -- at work, it can be downright lonely not knowing anyone other than your boss! Take the time to introduce them to the people they will be collaborating with and include some fun facts, like favorite tv shows or favorite lunch spots. Make sure they know who and where their supervisors are. Help them meet other employees you think they will get along well with.
Have their workspace all set up and ready to go. Having a designated space ready can take a lot of stress off of a new employee. If their workspace is already stocked -- not just with the big things like their computer login and phone list, but even with the little things like a pad of paper and pens -- and organized when they get there, they can jump right in and start working without having to worry about taking the time to get all set up. It also lets them know that you are excited and ready to add them to your team.
Give them something to do on their first day. Have a small assignment for them to do to jump into their new job. Keep it finite and uncomplicated; you don’t want to overload them on their first day. Remember they are adjusting to a new role, a new environment, and new people. Giving them something to do right away shows them that you value them and what they bring to your company, but it also helps integrate them into their new role and gives them a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
Take them to lunch. It shouldn’t be a working lunch, but just a chance for you to get to know one another a little better. Now that they are part of your team, that ¼ of your week you are at work will be spent together, so build a relationship and get comfortable with each other. Spend the time chatting about your interests, families, and lives and get your minds off of work for a little while.
Be patient. Remember that it will take time for new hires to get acclimated to their new environment and role. They will probably make a few mistakes along the way. Be patient as they learn where and how they fit into your company culture and figure out what they are doing.
Be available. Make sure your new hires know that they can come to you with any questions or concerns that may arise. It is especially important for them to know this in their first few days as they adjust to their new job, but they need to know that you care about them as they continue with your company. They need to know you are listening and available when they need you. They need to trust you.
Check-in with them at the end of the day. Have a friendly conversation with them to see how their day went. How are they feeling? What were they able to accomplish? What questions or concerns do they have? Then, set them up for success for the next day. Highlight the agenda for day two if you can. If they walk out the first day knowing you care, it will make it so much easier for them to want to return the next day.
Gift them a “Welcome Kit.” Have some branded swag ready for them on their first day. This is a great way to make them feel welcome as part of the team. Be deliberate with what gifts you include in their kit. Don’t just throw whatever leftovers you can find in the marketing closet into a box or slap your logo on the cheapest items you can find; this can have the opposite effect on employees. Give them quality products that they will actually use and value; merch they’ll want to show off to their living partners and friends. If it’s something they would buy for themselves or something commonly used inside and outside the office, then it’s probably a good gift. It’s like we always say: “Swag, not spam.” Even though a branded water bottle, coffee mug, or jacket might not seem like much to you, it’s a great way to make new hires feel connected to your brand and part of your team. (Pro-tip: If your swag gift is social media-worthy? You’re killin’ it at the onboarding swag game!)
These seemingly small gestures can go a long way in making your new hires feel a lot less overwhelmed on their first day with your company. You want your employees to feel comfortable and valued so they can do their best work. They will also feel a stronger sense of loyalty to your brand and do their best to see it succeed.
Need more ideas on how to help your new hires? Contact us and see how we can help you integrate new hires into your brand culture and community.