First impressions matter, and an employee’s first day on the job matters a great deal.
Companies put a lot of time and money into recruiting, screening, interviewing, and processing new employees. Finding the proper mix of skills and experience, and the right personality for fit takes time.
Unfortunately, the effort often stops after the new employee orientation the first day on the job.
While employers monitor a new employee to see if they are going to be successful, new employees are evaluating their decision of having taken a job as well. The more you do to make new employees feel welcome and integrate them into the workplace, the more you can help them decide that the job was, indeed, a right choice.
Here are eight tips to help make new employees feel welcome.
1. Set up the new employee’s work area with everything they will need to start working.
Stock their desk or work space with office supplies like paper clips, a stapler, pens, and whatever else they need the first day on the job. Put a few fun things, in, too, like cool post-its or a water bottle, insulated coffee mug, or T-shirt with the company logo on it.
2. Set up their computer with logins and passwords.
Nothing is more frustrating than coming to work and not being able to log in and set up your system. Unless this is a last minute hire, there should be plenty of time to work with your IT Department or computer provider to get everything signed off and assigned before they arrive.
3. If possible, order uniforms and other special equipment so it is available within the first week or so.
Uniforms give employees an identity and help them feel like part of the team. It is also a great money saver for them to not have to wear their own clothes or buy clothes to wear to work.
4. Order name tags once the offer is accepted, and hand them out the first day at work.
This helps other employees get to know the “newbie’s” name and encourages introductions. It’s nice to know that someone has been preparing for your arrival, and getting things ready is a priority.
5. Assign a “buddy” to the new employee, one who has a positive attitude, knows the ropes, and who can answer questions and provide a friendly ear to handle concerns.
After the flurry of greetings and introductions, new employees are often led to their desks or work stations and left to manage the rest of the day by themselves. The buddy takes the new employee to lunch the first week and introduces him to as many other employees as possible so they can start to form their own circle of friends.
6. Take the new employee on a tour of your building, plant, factory, or other locations.
A map of the office layout where he or she will be working with the names of employees working in close proximity will help them learn names and feel more comfortable getting to know their way around. Make a map of the floor, building, or area of the company campus with frequently visited areas marked so the new employee can find his or her way back without turning too many wrong corners.
7. Introduce the new employee to the General Manager, CEO, Supervisors, and other members of management.
Unless they are part of the executive team, most employees never meet the GM, CEO, or Director of the Company. And, they never get to meet the people who are responsible for operations, sales, customer service, or new supervisors just hired in to run whole areas of the organization. An introduction in the CEO’s office makes a huge impression and makes it clear the new employee is valued and important.
8. Post a picture of the new employee in the cafeteria, bulletin board in his/her work area, and on the company’s Intranet, Facebook page, or newsletter.
A short bio will give a little history, along with some fun facts that may connect the new employee to others with similar backgrounds and interests. Encourage everyone to send a welcome email to the new employee’s email address before their arrival. When the newbie logs into email for the first time, they’ll be blown away with all the emails welcoming them to the team and wishing them well.
The old adage that you only have one chance to make a good first impression holds true. Just a few simple gestures can set the tone for a great employer-employee relationship. It also helps your team accept and get to know their new team member quickly.
These two advantages add value to your company’s bottom line in terms of employee satisfaction and retention, and his or her ability to work with your team to get results in your organization.
Make your new employee’s first impression a great impression!
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Mary J. Nestor is a leadership and communications expert with extensive experience in identifying issues and helping leaders resolve them to the benefit of the company, the leader, and the employee. For more information on how Mary can help you and your organization, click here to request a free consultation.