Not many organisations realise the importance of making their new employees feel at home, but this has a strong impact on how productive the employee is going to be in future. People work for a paycheck but loyalty comes around only when they feel valued at their workplace. Do not forget valued employees are valuable employees. Those who are appreciated by their leaders are infinitely more likely to go above and beyond their job responsibilities.
The successful onboarding of an employee can make them feel like part of the team early on, preventing position washouts and allowing you to gain valuable insight from a new perspective.
A Welcoming Environment
New hires don’t yet know the cultural norms at your organisation. Hopefully this means they’ll share lots of ideas, but sometimes people are quiet until they see how others behave. Make sure new talent knows you welcome input and you’re excited to hear their point of view in meetings. To be successful, you have to socialise this within the organisation, and over time it will become the new norm.
Additionally, being prepared for them can also create a welcoming environment. Prepare a checklist of all items needed as of the employee’s first day of work to ensure that all the resources necessary are available to get started. For example, inform your staff of the new employee’s arrival, prepare a package with all the documentation for the new employee, prepare a training plan, and provide all the essential equipment for their workspace.
Engagement and Feedback
Once an applicant accepts the offer, start the engagement process. Utilise a variety of methods, such as video or infographics that provide examples of employee innovation, overview of core values and the reporting process for concerns. Incorporate those components through interactive first-day onboarding activities that encourage feedback while showing the organisation’s openness to feedback. Furthermore, Asking for feedback from new employees after the onboarding process or asking them to complete an evaluation of their new-hire training sets the precedent that their ideas are welcome. Current employees whose contributions yield positive results for the company should also be recognised, both among co-workers and on their annual performance review, creating an incentive for others to do the same.
Creating an open-door engagement and feedback policy makes it known to new hires that the company is more than willing to spend time addressing concerns, entertaining innovative ideas, and paying attention to their overall well-being.
Asking for help is hard, particularly when it’s the first day at work. Most companies assign a mentor to the new employee so that they can introduce them to the rest of the team and help the new employee get familiar with their new office. Normally done by a colleague, the mentor’s role will be to act as the resource person for the employee during the first few months of work. The mentor will answer questions and can show them how to complete tasks which will promote the transfer of knowledge. This system encourages interaction and greatly helps the employee’s integration, quickly builds self-confidence and reduces the degree of ambiguity related to the new work environment.
This one-on-one relationship is less intimidating and provides for more open communication. It also allows the mentor to reinforce the culture of openness and encourage the new team member to speak up from the start.
Preparing Your Team
There is nothing worse than showing up to a new workplace and being greeted by confusion and surprised stares. It’s just going to make things awkward and will certainly not help the new employee feel valued. Communicate with your staff a heads-up through an email, all-hands announcement or both. Ideally your team will have met its newest member during the interview process, but even so, offer some personalised info about your hire’s background and experience. Share why you’re excited about the addition to the team and make welcoming new employees warmly part of your team culture. This will all help your team get fired up for the new arrival, and makes it easier for the said new arrival to be integrated into the existing team.
Making your new employees feel welcomed should be a number one priority for companies and organisations, and by following these points stated above, there is no doubt that new employees will feel at home almost instantly.
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