New experiences can be scary, especially when you are the new employee. Think back to your first day at a new job. Chances are you didn’t know anyone except those who interviewed you or the receptionist. (What were their names??) Where to park, which entrance to use, where the bathroom is located…these are just a few of the many questions that may be running through your new employee’s mind. I always tried to put myself in their shoes and think about how they might feel.
As a former hiring manager, here are some of the things I did to help welcome new employees. Hopefully these will be a help to you as you welcome new team members on board.
• Once I received the signed offer letter, I would reach out to the employee, either by text or email.
o I would welcome the new employee and let them know how excited I was that they were joining my team. I included my cell phone number as well in case they had any questions or concerns. The last thing they needed was to get stuck in traffic or experience some sort of emergency and have no way to reach anyone. I asked them to text me when they arrived so I could meet them at the door and escort them in so they wouldn’t be left to navigate this alone.
o I included a recent team selfie, so they could see who they would be working with and that we didn’t look too scary.
o I attached a copy of the company dress code for their reference, since most of the time this is included as part of the orientation and they probably haven’t seen it yet. (How embarrassing would it be to wear something on your first day that was not in compliance?? Talk about awkward…)
o My Team Leaders and I would take the new employee out to lunch on their first day, so I would mention that and ask if they had any preferences or dietary restrictions. This prevented them from bringing a lunch that might go to waste and, most importantly, gave us an opportunity to connect.
• We cleaned their desk and stocked it with office supplies.
• Using the blank notecards that I kept on hand, everyone on our team would write a note to the new employee, welcoming them to the team. So, when the new employee saw their desk for the first time, it was clean, stocked, and inviting, with 10-15 personalized cards from their new coworkers. One team member was crafty and even drew a cute welcome sign on a sheet of copy paper, which we tacked to the wall of their cube.
• We had a short, company-wide meeting each morning, where we would briefly introduce the new employee and share a bit of personal info. (Where they went to school, where they were from originally, their previous role, etc.)
• We would also send this same announcement out to all employees in our daily company email for those who missed the meeting.
• I created a checklist for everything that needed to happen, before and after their first day, to make sure nothing slipped through the cracks. (This list will vary from company to company.)
o Add them to the printer (we each had assigned printer boxes on one large printer/copier)
o Add their name & extension to the department phone list
o Create their market account for purchases in the kitchen/cafeteria
o Add them to the lunch schedule
o Add them to any calendar invites for meetings, etc.
o Add their birthday and work anniversary to the department calendar so we can recognize and celebrate
o Create a training schedule for the first 2 weeks
• I would meet with the new employee and the Team Lead they reported to each day during their first week to check in and see how it was going or if they had any questions or concerns.
• During those first 2 weeks in particular, I made sure they didn’t have to eat lunch alone in the employee dining room, unless they wanted to.
These things helped create a welcoming atmosphere and reduce any stress or anxiety the new employee might have had. What else are you doing? Thoughts?