Best Practices for Welcoming New Employees

Last Updated on July 29, 2020 by bigfish-admin

Best Practice for Welcoming New Employees

Onboarding is an important part of employee satisfaction and retention that is often overlooked. Once you find a great fit for your company after hiring and recruiting, you must make sure you onboard them efficiently.

It is far too easy to focus on the production goals or client needs, leaving employees feeling undervalued and unappreciated. Positive onboarding experiences for employees help to start the relationship off on the right foot. 

In a recent article by Bob Kelleher, the founder of The Employee Engagement Group, he stated, “Studies show that roughly 33 percent of employees decide to stay onboard with a firm or jump ship within their first 30 days of employment.”

The positive environment you create for your employees should start during their very first interaction with your company. The goal should be to have your new employee feeling like a valued member of the team from the moment an offer for hire is accepted. To achieve that goal, it is crucial to prepare and adopt a positive onboarding experience.

Ways to Give New Hires a Meaningful First Experience That Will Last

BEFORE WEEK 1

The interaction you have with your new employee prior to his or her first day in the office will set the tone for the future working relationship. Set up your new team members for success by providing them with the necessary tools to comfortably assimilate into the office culture. It is in the best interest of the company and employee to ensure that your new hire is fully prepared to jump right into their new role as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Communicate

Prepare for your employee’s first day, there is much you can do to avoid confusion and keep new hires informed before they start.

After you decide to hire an employee, they accept an offer, and you set a start date, don’t make the mistake of stopping communication. If new hires get the silent treatment between accepting an offer and starting the job, you are already sending the wrong message. This can be an email from HR discussing their first day or a phone call from their manager. This is your opportunity to prepare employees for what they should expect leading up to their first day.

Big Fish offers an iSolved technology platform which includes onboarding support, as well as Employee Self Service (ESS) this allow employees access to their ESS portal, where they can review documents that the employer has made available to them. Setting by this on-boarding profile for new hires will allow them to access crucial information online prior to their start date. Walk through the process so they feel prepared – new employees should walk into your office refreshed, prepared and ready to work.

Prepare a Workspace

There is no worse feeling than going into a new environment and feeling like you don’t belong. Avoid your new hire showing up on day one with nowhere to sit or work and no materials to perform necessary job duties.

Demonstrate the value you place on your new hires by having their workspace set up and ready for their arrival. Be sure to include all the things they will need on a normal day to carry out necessary functions. This will help your new employee feel welcome and encourage them to settle in and start working.   

Welcome Kit

A little gift goes a long way and one thing you should have in place for an employee’s first day is a company welcome kit. This welcome kit can include information for your new hire that gets him or her familiar with company history and values as well as policies and procedures.  You can include a company handbook, policies, FAQs, and other necessary documents.

In addition to information, consider giving something that is memorable and unique to your brand. Add extra fun to your welcome kit by including some company swag, a t-shirt, mug, or perhaps any other promotional item so your new hire can show off their sweet new gig.

To make your employee feel even more welcome, have the entire team sign a welcome card and leave it waiting on their desk for the first day. Small but kind gestures like these will be sure to make any new hire feel at home.

DURING WEEK 1

The first week at a new job is typically a difficult transition period for most new hires. It’s easy to forget how much the new hire must take in. They enter an unfamiliar work environment with new protocols to learn, schedules to adjust to, and names to remember. Here are some ways to ease the transition of the first week:

Tours & Introductions

When entering a new company, a new hire must become accustomed to the work environment and the individuals they will be working alongside. There is nothing better than walking in on your first day and receiving a warm welcome from your new co-workers. This friendly welcome humanizes your company and shows new hires your staff are approachable. It is also crucial to set time during the first week to show your new team member around their workspace and other important areas they will access frequently.

Onboarding Buddy

There is no greater way to hear about a new job or company than from those who live the experience daily. A great way to ensure your new hires are comfortable is to pair them with a veteran team member who can show them the ropes. Pair them with a peer, rather than a manager as they’ll feel more comfortable bringing up questions they may hesitate asking management. Hearing directly from a peer about the company, job duties, and processes will ensure your employee feels warmly welcome while also understanding how the business operates.

Memorable First Day

You do not get a second chance to make a first impression, so be sure your new hire’s first day is a positive experience. You can make their first day memorable by scheduling a welcome lunch with co-workers and sending a company-wide email introducing your new hire.

These are just a few suggestions, anything you can do to make your new team member’s early experiences with the company great ones will make all the difference. Your new hire will take notice of the effort and appreciate it. Take this time to really evaluate your company culture and implement practices that may be more relevant to your specific organization.

BEYOND WEEK 1

Once the “first week new hire dust” has settled a bit management may assume that employee is now fully onboarded when in reality this is far from the truth. Now that the initial welcome and transition has begun, it is important to continue to follow up throughout the process.

Don’t Stop Checking in.

It’s the end of week one and you have successfully supplied your new hire with all the materials they need to perform and walked them through their first week. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your work is done just yet! To make a lasting impact, regularly check in on them during their first year of employment. This shows your employee that you care beyond solely welcoming them to the team and want to be sure they are having the best employment experience possible.

Remember that working business relationships are a two-way street. The process of hiring, onboarding, and welcoming new members to the team is an essential beginning to creating those relationships. In order to increase employee satisfaction and retention, you must be willing to give as much as you hope to receive. Big Fish offers an iSolved module, which helps to streamline and simplify the process of onboarding new staff. All information is stored in a single system and accessible from anywhere, eliminating the stress leading up to a new hire’s first week.

Get more information about employee onboarding with Big Fish. 

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