Building engaged employees starts before day one – the new hire onboarding process significantly influences how committed and overall successful they will be. If new employees do not feel welcome when they first start, it can make them feel like they are not valued, and thus be less likely to feel connected to your company’s mission and you as a manager. Give onboarding the effort it deserves and make new employees immediately feel welcome with these tips:
Make it a Priority
Be prepared to welcome your new employees to the team by planning ahead. Onboarding should not be done offhandedly – it sends a clear signal that the new employees are not a top priority. Create a list of all the things you want to cover and accompanying reference materials and send it to new hires ahead of time so they know what to expect. If possible, have their workspace ready for them so they have a spot of their own upon their arrival.
Get a Welcome Gift
Show new employees that their arrival is a happy occasion that you are excited about by getting them a welcome gift. It does not have to be anything costly – a simple gift bundle of company-branded items with a card signed by the team will set the appropriate tone and make them feel welcomed.
Introduce Them to the Team
Facilitate a smooth integration for new employees by introducing them as soon as possible to the rest of your staff. Whether you just do casual one-on-one introductions or a group meeting, helping them become acclimated with their colleagues will make them more comfortable and less nervous.
Anticipate Their Questions and Concerns
Although telling new hires to come to you with any questions is certainly supportive, you can take it a step further and really make them feel welcomed by anticipating their questions and concerns ahead of time. Often, by the time a new employee realizes they need to ask a question, it is usually because they have already experienced awkwardness or made a mistake. Keep their confidence intact by considering their perspective and what they would need to know and may not think to ask, even if it is something as simple as how people take their lunch breaks or if people tend to communicate by email, not by phone.
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