Starting a new job can be very exciting and a little stressful. As new hires, many of us have found ourselves trying to understand how to navigate the workplace culture, adjusting to our responsibilities in our new positions and trying to build networks with the coworkers and colleagues we don't yet have the pleasure of knowing very well.
We've all been there — and we've likely had colleagues and supervisors who have taken it upon themselves to help us adjust and make us feel welcome however they can. Whether they reached out via email or made an effort to stop by your desk to introduce themselves, they put their best foot forward in an attempt to make a good first impression of themselves and the company on you.
So, how exactly do you welcome new employees? It's actually a pretty straightforward formula; it's almost expected that as a new employee you'll be welcomed to the team by your boss in the form of an email greeting and a number of other onboarding materials that were planned specifically to help you become settled in your new position. You might, for example, receive log-in information for company systems, your colleagues' contact information and probably even some company swag left on your desk!
Teamwork makes the dream work! Bonding with new team members results in everyone being more keen on working collaboratively and putting in a genuine effort to do a good job. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and if a company doesn't put in a decent effort to make new employees feel welcomed — especially considering the effort that the new hires put into joining and being a part of the team in the first place — then they won't be motivated to do good work within the company.
It's imperative that all members of the team feel as though their efforts are being reciprocated; the new hire put in the effort to join the team, and the team must return that effort by ensuring that the new hire is oriented and comfortable in their new environment. A little truly goes a long way in this situation, and even a simple "let me know if you have any questions" can be an invitation to new hires to reach out and learn the best practices of the office straight from a source, rather than learning about the company's best practices the hard way. Being welcoming and accommodating helps things run more smoothly and efficiently.
The most common method of welcoming new hires into a company is through email and e-introductions. A welcome email can go a long way — a quick "Welcome to the team, I've cc'd some of the other team members here so if you have any questions feel free to ask!" expresses a genuine effort to help the new hire adjust as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
While email introductions are one way to welcome your new colleagues to the team, face-to-face introductions are a bit more personal. Going the extra step and introducing yourself in person by stopping by their desk or casually introducing yourself in passing if you see them on your way to a meeting means that they now have a face to attach to your name, and because of this, the introduction will stand out in their mind.
You can never go wrong with a little group bonding via a group lunch or after-work happy hour to make sure the new hires can get acquainted with team members in a more relaxed and casual way. This can nurture professional relationships as well as genuine friendships between colleagues.
Offer to give new hires a short tutorial on what they should know about any department-specific habits or practices that could help them establish their work routine quickly. By letting new hires know about the ways that the department operates more efficiently, they'll be equipped with the tools to also work efficiently within the department and are less likely to slow down the processes.
If you've had the opportunity to get to know a bit about the new team member, offer to introduce them to other team members and colleagues who you think they would be interested in knowing according to the information you've gathered about them. Engage in the spirit of networking!
The following sample is written from the perspective of an employee welcoming a new boss to the office.
Hello [new boss' name],
I wanted to reach out and say welcome on behalf of everyone in the office! We're looking forward to working collaboratively with you and can't wait to see what you have in store for the development of our team.
The following sample is written from the perspective of a boss or supervisor welcoming a new employee to the office.
Hello [new employee's name],
We're very excited to welcome to our team!
We hope you'll enjoy the company mug and t-shirt that we've left for you at your desk.
As part of the onboarding process, I've attached a few helpful documents to this email, including an agenda for this week, a sheet listing the extensions of your fellow colleagues and the appropriate log-in information for the company databases.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out, and I'd be happy to get back to you at my earliest convenience.
Our team is looking forward working with you — welcome!
This sample is written from the perspective of an employee greeting a new hire.
Hello [new hire's name],
Welcome to the team! We're all looking forward to getting to know you, so If you have any questions please feel free to email me or stop by my desk. Let's grab coffee sometime this week!