After the lengthy and challenging process of recruiting a new employee is over, another salient process commences: onboarding. With it, a very important questions arises: how does one help a new employee settle in and feel welcome at their new workplace? Finding the right person to hire is often an onerous task so once you find that person, you will likely do your utmost to keep hold of them.
Before we dive into 5 simple ways to ensure new employees settle in quickly and comfortably, we recommend putting yourself into the new hire's shoes; the first day is always slightly anxiety-inducing and awkward, therefore, take into consideration what traits would your 'ideal' employer have and embody that person for your newest hire.
Now, here is our advice to helping a new employee settle in their new role:
1. Draft an onboarding plan
Before their first day, make sure to draft an onboarding plan that ensures there will be a plan to follow on the first day. This includes; preparing who will welcome them, showing them where their desk is, organising a meeting with HR, introducing them to their colleagues and to the organisation overall.
You may also send them a preparation email with a brief overview on how their first day (or even their first week) would look like. You want your new employee to arrive with all the knowledge they can have so they would know what to expect rather than finding out on the spot.
2. Make them feel welcome
Their first day should not be all about paperwork but rather as a social and interactive event. Ideally, paperwork should be kept to a minimum (this can also be done prior to the first day via email) and if given an onboarding document, this should be referenced to throughout the day rather than reading it through page by page at one go. Make your new employee's first day enjoyable; introduce them to different teams, let them know about company culture and events and show them around the workplace so they familiarise themselves and feel more comfortable.
3.Provide them with a mentor / implement a buddy system
Apart from senior management offering mentorship which is standard practice when onboarding someone new, a buddy system should be in place with the aim that the new hire has a go-to colleague to ask questions to, have lunch with, ask for advice and more.
Other employees should also be encouraged to do their part. This includes; supporting the main person who is tasked in welcoming the new hire and do small things to show the newcomer warmth and sympathy. However, providing them with one key person may help them feel less overwhelmed, especially in the beginning when they are still learning the ins and outs of the organisation.
4. Immerse the new hire in the company culture
Ensuring that someone joining the company understands and embraces the culture is vital to them contributing to the company's goals. Introduce the new hire to the company's mission, vision and core values, and communication practices. The culture of a company is what merges all departments in working in unison towards common goals, hence why it is an important area to introduce during onboarding.
5. Clarify expectations and give the new employee a chance to voice their vision
Although the newcomer would be already aware of what their role entails since this would be in the job description, it rarely gives the whole picture. On the first day, make your expectations clear. This includes; going through job tasks and responsibilities, goals, how they will be assessed and anything else which you might feel is beneficial information. It is important to give the person as much insight as possible if you'd like them to thrive in their new role.
On the other hand, it is important to allow them the opportunity to share their goals and vision for their future within the company. Understandably, this is subject to the newcomer's experience and seniority, however, putting that aside, listening to what they have to say in this regard ensures that they feel respected and valued.
Helping employees settle in and feel welcome on their first day (and subsequent days) is a great way of ensuring that they feel that they are part of your organisation which will in turn, increase their loyalty and motivate them to perform their best at your company.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.