You know yourself just how daunting and nerve-wracking it can be to start a brand-new job. Walking into the office on your first day and not knowing anybody, where to find anything, or how you’re going to fit in. You’ve probably been there before, and these are all feelings that most new starters will experience after they have got over the recruitment hurdle.
Even for an adult, the little things like forgetting who their line manager is, not knowing where the printer is or how to use it, and not knowing who the other members of their team are can instil feelings of dread that are reminiscent of their first day at high school.
6 Ways to Welcome Your New Team Member
These little things can be rather problematic, though. If they go unchecked and unsolved, they can cause new hires to face challenges with getting work done and building important professional relationships. Therefore, as a manager or team leader, you need to do everything you can to welcome your new team member, get them acclimated, and help them hit the ground running from day one. Here are six ways to do just that.
1. Connect with Them on LinkedIn
If you haven’t met the new hire yet, this can be a great way to introduce yourself and help them feel more at ease. After all, you are about to work together closely, so why not add them to your professional network? It’s better to do it now rather than awkwardly six months down the line after you’ve been spending your days sitting right by them!
Adding a new hire on LinkedIn is a great way to say hello before they have even entered the office. Why not add a note in your connection request too, so that you’re not reaching out in a totally cold way? Something as simple as “Welcome to the [Company], we’re excited to have you join our team!”
2. Give Them a Warm Welcome
Adding a new hire on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you don’t need to welcome them when it’s their first day, though—they may not even have a LinkedIn profile to add! Regardless, give the new hire the welcome that you would want if you were in their shoes. Fire out an email ahead of time to your team members before the newbie arrives and include the person’s name, what they’ll be doing, and encourage your team to introduce themselves.
Consider going the extra mile and making their entire first day a welcome day—plan a welcome lunch, spend the day introducing your new team member to the office environment, the other teams, and key individuals.
3. Create an Onboarding Process
Welcoming new team members and bringing them aboard can be a time-consuming task, especially if it is something you have to do often. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to create an onboarding process and tweak it for each new starter to a) make sure every new hire has a consistent introduction to the company and their new role and b) to make your life easier.
In fact, creating an onboarding process is one of the most important steps you can take as a team leader. This onboarding process will be the person’s lifesaver when they first join and get used to their new role. It should include:
- The goals that you want the new hire to reach in their first 30, 60, and 90 days.
- A brief outline of their role and the tasks they will be responsible for.
- Important dates and company events that are coming up.
- Any meetings or introductory sessions they are expected to attend as a new starter.
- Any meetings they are expected to attend regularly, and where and when to go.
- Any relevant documents, calendars, links, or logins that they will need.
- A link to the company’s org chart that includes other employees’ contact details, information, and their roles and teams.
Although your onboarding process should cover all the important things, it is not designed to be a self-serve onboarding tool; it is designed to save you some time and create consistency.
4. Prepare Their Workspace
Being new is uncomfortable enough without also feeling like you don’t have a place where you belong in the office. One way to help your new hire feel right at home and less awkward is by preparing their workspace. Reach out ahead of time to the person responsible for assigning workspaces and arrange their desk, a chair, a computer, a phone, and any other equipment and supplies they need to get started.
This not only helps your new hire feel less awkward, but it also shows that you care as a manager and that you are always looking out for your team.
5. Take a Walk
Nobody wants to be late for their very first meeting because they got lost in the office. Similarly, nobody wants to look silly because they can’t figure out how to work the printer or because they don’t know where to go to find HR.
To avoid these and similar problems, take a walk with your newbie and give them a tour of the office. Make sure that you hit all the important areas including the meeting spaces, the break room, conference rooms, and point out key areas such as where different teams sit, where the elevators are, and, if time allows, give them a crash course in working the shared equipment like printers and copiers where relevant.
6. Make Sure They Know Who’s Who
Now, your new hire doesn’t need to be on first-name terms with everyone from the C-level executives to the facilities staff. However, it is a good idea to give your new hire a basic who’s who of the people that they need to know. These people may include key contacts in HR and payroll, other managers that they will come across in their line of work, and colleagues from other teams with whom they may occasionally work with.
And we’re not saying that you should walk around the office, randomly pointing people out and naming them. There are much better ways to help your new hire put names to faces. One better way is to make use of the company’s org chart roster. If your company is subscribed to a high-quality org chart tool like Organimi, this org chart roster will be an accurate and up-to-date organized representation of everybody in the company, and your new hire can use this to help get to know people.