3 ways you can welcome new employees
New employees join your organisation, nervous and excited, but they want to know what’s next for them–and that’s where you, their business leader, come into the picture.
They could be frightened and worry about how they'll fit in, how they'll perform and how they’ll find their place in your organisation. By being welcoming and understanding of their situation, you can seamlessly integrate them into your business and processes.
New hires are anxious about how they'll settle into their roles, but they’re also eager to contribute to the organisation. They may be able to insert themselves into the current ways of working, but business leaders need to be proactive about creating dedicated learning paths.
Employees thrive when leaders engage them, and actively find ways to help them develop themselves. You can sustain new employees’ enthusiasm and support employees from the start–giving them positive feedback, showing clear plans for improvement and involving them in the business’ growth are some of the ways that enthusiastic new hires can stay excited.
Why do you need to welcome new employees?
Welcoming new employees is an essential part of building a team motivated to do excellent work.
It's important to make new employees feel appreciated right at the start so they’re empowered and included and feel like they're a genuine part of the team. Feeling like they're part of something bigger will help bolster their morale and push them to do their best.
It’s crucial to welcome a new employee the right way because it will serve as their first impression of your organisation and your staff, and can set the tone for the rest of their journey in the company. Properly welcoming your new employees shows professionalism and an active work culture.
3 ways you can welcome new employees
Welcoming new staff members is the first step in a longer process of involving them in the organisation, so starting with these three ways to engage new hires will help integrate them into a larger employee retention programme.
Provide an onboarding plan
New employees will appreciate a guide of what to expect in their first few weeks at your company because this shows you want them to participate in the process.
Having an onboarding plan benefits both the new employee and the company. You’re able to share what you expect the new hire to contribute their time and energy to, and they know what activities they can look forward to in their first few weeks.
It’s important to include valuable information like their start date and additional requirements you need to process any important paperwork.
Onboarding is different from an orientation, though both are equally important. Employee orientation can range from a one-off session to a series of weeks, discussing the paperwork and other routine documentation required. Onboarding is a comprehensive process including the participation of management and other employees that can last up to a year.
On the new employee’s first day, business leaders need to set expectations and introduce objectives; right from the start, employees should know what their job description and responsibilities are in practice. Employees who know what to expect from their company's culture and environment make decisions that are aligned with the practices of the company.
They also need to get to know their new co-workers so they can begin building rapport even before they dive into projects or customer work, and leaders need to explain roles and responsibilities for the entire team to dispel any resentment for the new staff member.
It’s a good idea to clarify the responsibilities of the new employee as well as the tasks of other team members whose work is closely related to theirs, how they’ll interact with each other and how projects will run now the position is filled.
Scheduling a check-in with the new employee at the one-month point helps leaders see how they’re settling in at the organisation and if the onboarding programme could use improvement, especially in terms of the flow of information. It’s important that team members get up to speed, but leaders should ensure new hires aren’t overwhelmed with information.
Between three to six months, it’s essential to continue checking in with your new hire, because this period allows both them and you to assess if the organisation is suitable for them or if you need to consider other options.
Employee performance at the end of the year will prove if the new hire is happy, engaged and fully productive, but consistent check-ins with them before this point will help management keep tabs on how the staff member is growing, and how this could translate into retention plans, or if they need to look into hiring another person for the same position.
Give them a task to start with
New employees are nervous, enthusiastic and curious about how the organisation works. That energy needs to be channelled somewhere productive so they feel included in the team.
Providing a relatively simple task that lets them get their feet wet while they’re learning more about the company gives their energy somewhere to go, and also helps get them more involved in the organisation. Leaders need to exercise even task delegation so this happens.
Tasks assigned to new employees need to line up with their existing skills and the stage of the onboarding process they’re in. New staff members will benefit from training on tasks that require little technical knowledge as they go through onboarding, or tasks that play to their strengths–even asking them directly can help you filter and decide on assignments.
Aside from providing training, leaders need to give new employees clear goals and timelines to check their progress on their introductory tasks. Written objectives that both employees and business leaders refer back to ensure that everyone has the same expectations. This is crucial when you’re in the process of integrating someone into the team.
Building a reasonable timeline also keeps new employees accountable, especially if the task doesn’t have a hard deadline. Leaders also benefit from having a timeline because they can monitor what milestones are completed and how they can mentor an employee better.
Assign them a work buddy
Your well-intentioned mentoring is only one part of the onboarding process, and new employees are probably a little intimidated by their direct supervisor doing all the welcoming.
In pairing a senior employee with a new employee you encourage them to collaborate and learn from each other. Teamwork is essential for an organisation’s progress because they generate more ideas together and pick up new ways to do essential tasks within the company.
When you pair off a new employee with a more senior one, you can encourage staff buy-in, which isn’t necessarily about getting general agreement but rather getting the full support of your staff. With clear direction and understanding of your purpose, they will keep working to the best of their abilities as more complex projects or tasks are introduced.
As a business leader, you need to create a good work environment where all staff members can thrive, so welcoming a new employee with enough information and support can take the guidance of another employee, as they also benefit from working with new team members.
Now that you know how to get new employees more involved in your organisation, complete that warm welcome with a workplace that pays attention to what teams need. Book a tour with us and see how you can take your organisation further.