You only get one chance to make a great FIRST impression. Many employers do a good job during the selection process but then they drop the ball. Here are a few things you can do to welcome a new employee on board.
- Make sure the workstation is clean and ready to go.
- Of course you want to introduce the new person to their co-workers but take it a step further and ask a few people to go on break with their new co-worker or invite the person out to lunch.
- Give a company welcome gift. I give new employees a couple of gifts. One reinforces our company mission and gives me an opportunity to talk about our values. The second gift is a water glass. Everyone else has one that they received during a fun employee event we had several months ago. It gives me a chance to talk about employee activities and encourage them to participate in the future.
- Either HR or the employee’s manager should meet with them to go over policies and the employee handbook. A face-to-face meeting is more personable, gives you a chance to share examples, and makes it easy for the new employee to ask questions. Don’t just hand them the policies and tell them to read it! Policies and procedures can be a little dry so I suggest breaking it up if there is a lot to cover. It can be a good idea to “review” some important things a few weeks later.
- If you are like us, we have a large facility and I’m guessing some people may be concerned about getting a little lost. Our evacuation plan has everything marked on it so we not only make sure the new employee knows the evacuation plan but it can also help them find a conference room and other areas of the building. If your office is small just give them a quick tour.
- Give the new employee a great partner who can train them well and help them understand their job duties. I strongly suggest getting the person productive as soon as possible so they feel they are contributing, learning, and part of the team.
- Follow-up and ask new people if they have suggestions to help others get started in the future. You will get some great ideas from those who have first-hand experience being the “newbie.”
It’s also a good idea to develop an orientation checklist so nothing is missed. People are excited to start a new job but there is definitely some apprehension. Studies show that anything you can do to make a great first impression will help you improve employee engagement and retention. I’d like to hear about what your company does to welcome a new person on board.