Starting a new job is dead nerve-racking for most people.
That’s why, as managers, it’s our job to make the onboarding process as easy and stress-free as possible for our new team members!
And that means so much more than having your health and safety talk really well rehearsed.
Throughout those first few days, you (or someone you’ve nominated to do so) should be there to help your newbie settle in – and make them feel loved.
Check out our 10 tips to help you improve your onboarding process.
1. Warn your staff
There is nothing worse than showing up to a new workplace and being greeted by confused, blank faces… “Umm – who are you? Can I help you?”
It’s just REALLY awkward and will certainly not help a new starter to feel valued.
Communicate with your staff, get them excited about the new arrival and they’re bound to give them a more warm welcome.
2. Be prepared.
You should have everything up and ready for your new starter from the moment they walk through the door.
- Any documents they may need to fill out.
- A computer, workspace and stationery.
- Logins, passwords and software.
If they show up and you’re not ready for them, they’re bound to feel undervalued and you’re going to come across unorganised and lazy.
3. Let them start late.
I personally always advise you to let new starters come in a little late on their first day.
Firstly, it gives YOU a chance to prepare; you don’t want them waiting around while you check your emails, catch up with staff and prepare yourself for the induction.
It will also limit those awkward “early” moments.
New starters will probably show up early; you don’t want them to have to sit around for you, awkwardly wondering what to do, where to go and who to speak to.
4. Use “The Buddy System.”
This may sound childish, but nominating a buddy for your newbie is a great way to ensure they stay happy and on track.
The buddy will be there to answer any questions and reveal all the written rules, like dress code and lunch times, as well as, unwritten ones, like brew rounds and what NOT to cook in the microwave!
I would recommend you choose a buddy of a similar seniority, personality and possibly even age to your newbie; they’re more likely to get on and there won’t be any awkward hierarchical issues.
5. Do “lunch.”
On your new starter’s first day, don’t let them lunch alone!
Either ask someone in your team to take them out (their buddy) or put on a team lunch.
This will give a better impression of your company’s friendly, sociable culture (as opposed to a solitary, silent lunch break) and will give your new employee a chance to get to know the team better.
6. Keep them busy!
You absolutely MUST keep your new starter busy, during their first week.
There’s nothing worse than having to chase down a new boss because you’ve already finished all of your work and have just been sitting around for the last half an hour (while they were in a meeting).
It makes new starters feel awkward and nervous (that they’re going to be seen as lazy).
If anything, plan too much for your new starter, from inductions and health and safety talks, to getting stuck in with their work and training – but do make sure it’s meaningful activity.
7. Do an end-of-week review.
Feedback is SO important to a new starter.
There will be a million thoughts running through their head and they’ll definitely want to know whether you think they’re doing ok and settling in.
Be positive with your feedback; remember, it’s a lot to take in and your employee isn’t going to be perfect from day one.
8. Friday night beverages!
To end the week on a great note, invite your new starter out for drinks/ a celebration of some kind.
You could even shut up the office early (if you can) and show them how fun your office really.
(This is a great little perk, if you’re interested in engaging your whole team!)
9. Write up a formal Induction Programme.
The tips we’ve mentioned in this blog post are all about making your new employee feel welcome and as part of the team and should always go hand-in-hand with a formal induction programme.
Your formal induction programme will include things like…
- Welcome packs, health and safety documentation and training.
- Signing of contracts, reading the employee handbook etc.
- Formal discussions about expectations, performance metrics and reviews.
- On-the-job training.
Make sure you don’t overwhelm new starters on their first day, bombarding them with boring documentation; get them to do the necessities and then break the day up with more interesting tasks.
Of course, don’t just stop caring when a “newcomer” becomes an “old hack.”
You need to make sure your employees are engaged all the time.
If you focus on getting your onboarding process right, your new employees will settle in an awful lot quicker and that means that they’ll…
- Be much more likely to get along with others.
- Get stuck into their work much more quickly.
- Genuinely start to care about your company (quicker).
- “Brag” about it to other people (“look what my new company did for me”).
- Stick around for longer.
And that’s brilliant for your employer brand, your recruitment efforts and company culture!
Seriously, check out this blog post if you don’t believe me.