The first days at a new job typically involve meetings, reading handbooks, and other paperwork. Creating an “employee first company” should be a priority in order to make your new staff feel welcome.
New employees are usually overwhelmed by being unfamiliar with the company, not knowing how things and networks work and facing a new culture. So, leaders who only stick to introducing formal tasks and documents are probably missing an opportunity to greet the new employee to the team and set a positive tone of the working relationship.
The Employee First Company
Let’s take a look at some traditional and fresh initiatives to greet new (especially first-time) employees with welcoming hands:.
1. Create a Branded Welcome Pack
An employee welcome package is a simple yet compelling gesture that can go a long way. It usually includes all the standard HR paperwork, company policies, employee handbooks, and stationery. However, one of the best parts of starting a new job is all the free stuff you get. That said, why not start the onboarding process right and create a more entertaining and branded welcome pack for your new hire?
Some great ideas include welcome gifts with logos combining custom tote bags, notebooks, pens, water bottles, coffee mugs, power banks, apparel, and other accessories. If this is not enough for creating the ultimate new employee package, let your imagination run wild and assume that everything can be customized with your corporate logo.
2. Coach to Engage: From Orientation to Training
The quicker a new employee learns about the company and their role, the more likely they will accomplish more in the critical first months. To accelerate the learning process, leaders should implement a well-thought-out orientation and training program.
If the company does not have a specific orientation process, make a checklist of essential tasks and topics to cover and make sure you go thoroughly through them.
When it comes to training opportunities, keep in mind that one on one coaching is absolutely the best since it puts your new hire and their career in focus right from the start. This way, they can learn in-depth about the work and office culture, get insights around specific topics or areas, explore ways to approach different situations and learn steps for executing tasks successfully.
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Importantly, it takes time for new employees to become fully integrated and work independently and productively. For this reason, it is so essential for leaders to continue to connect with and coach them, from scheduling regular “how are things going?” meetings to training focusing on different aspects of their work.
3. Set Expectations and Give Direction
Setting expectations and giving direction to new employees is, in fact, a large part of the orientation, but it deserves extra attention and explanation as you create an employee first company.
Employees should not get to work before leaders set clear expectations. Giving a new employee a sense of the expected level of performance can significantly boost their efficiency and task execution.
Provide them with clear and concise written expectations on their first day. That is your best chance in ensuring they become a focused and productive team member. Translate the company’s operational business plan into simple terms, so the new hire can help you meet those expectations. Most importantly, your guidance should be structured in such a way that it helps them answer these three fundamental questions:
- What is my motivation? – Communicating clearly the company’s vision and helping new employees see themselves as part of it.
- What do I need to do? – Defining goals and setting timeframes for accomplishing them, as well as the measures used to evaluate their progress.
- How should I do it? – Being specific about strategies they should use to accomplish the goals, including what activities should be prioritized.
4. Staff Introduction: Make Them Feel Like Part of the Team
To secure good relationships between new and old employees, leaders should ensure the team understands why a person has been hired and make newbies feel like part of the team. How to do that? By structured and thoroughly-thought-out staff introduction.
While new hires may work independently, it is more likely that they will have to be part of one or more teams. So the sooner they build effective working relationships with their coworkers, the better it will be for the company, and there is a lot leaders can do to ensure this happens.
Consequently, the starting point is to introduce new employees to everyone formally. Make it clear that teams are expected to help their new colleagues acclimate and move up the learning trajectory. Investment of such time and effort can contribute a lot in securing long-term productivity and performance. Whether managers choose to do a formal greeting or ice-breaking individual introductions with each employee will totally depend on their leadership style and the company’s working culture.
5. Connect Them with the Most Important Stakeholders
Outside of the new hire’s immediate team, there are likely to be many partners or organizations who will be critical to their success on the job. In some working environments, these stakeholders may not be obvious, or there is no clear way how your new employee can best connect with them.
For this reason, another important initiative leaders should take is to facilitate these connections. Best way to do it? Make a list of names and brief notes on each, and explain to your new hire why they must connect. When possible, schedule introductions or encourage them to contact them individually. Make sure that the networking is going smoothly by checking in with the stakeholders.
When welcoming new employees on board, leaders need to maintain momentum to create an employee first company. Wrap-up all things and meetings you find essential in the first few weeks. Deal with the administrative details and equipment beforehand. This way, you will have time to help the new hire fit into the company culture and learn the business. Investing quality time in their accommodation and acclimation in the first weeks will help them focus on the essential work they should do and make them feel more confident. We guess you can call that a win-win situation!