I recently read an article that said that something like 50% of new employees are not provided with new employee orientation – this was surprising to me! Every employee wants to feel like they belong – and that is the #1 goal when putting together “new employee orientation”: showing a new employee where they fit into your organization. Whether you’re an office of 5, 500 or 5,000, making time to welcome and orient your new team member is critical to their success.
Don’t know about you… but I want my news hires FIRED UP! Here are the top 7 things to do for all new employees:
- So… Who are you again?: Provide them with an organizational outline. Make it simple: names and job titles, who reports to who. To get fancy, you can make a slide show with pictures and bios of different people on the team and share that as well.
- Make a Welcome Folder: Prepare a folder of important information for them before they arrive – print a label with their name on it and have it ready before they come in on the first day: ” Welcome, Jim!” Things that make sense in the folder: Any required new employee paperwork; tax forms; employee handbook; policies and procedures. You can even include items that make acclimating to their new environment easier, like a map of the building and/or parking areas, a list of amenities nearby (UPS store, banks, Starbucks, etc.) a list of important phone numbers, and anything else that will make them feel more “at home.”
- Give the Grand Tour: Give your new employee a tour of the office/facility/yard/building, etc. Take time to walk around with your new team member personally. This will create an opportunity to connect, both personally and professionally. Introduce them to as many people as you can as you walk together.
- Share a Meal: As often as possible, have lunch with your new employee on their first day! If you have many employees – consider hosting a monthly brown-bag lunch so that you can spend casual time getting to know one another. Also, remember to share your area’s Yelp Top 10 list for lunch spots – especially if the new employee isn’t familiar with your area.
- Clean Up Your Act: This is so simple it’s almost too easy – just tidy up. Spend a little extra time preparing the area that the new employee will work in. Putting your best foot forward is a good move – shows you really do care (remember dating?!)
- Gather Everyone for a Simple Hello: Make time during the first days that the new team member is around to gather your team for a Coffee Reception, Cookie Hour, Ice Cream Social – whatever works. Just get people together for casual introductions and conversation. If you often hire many employees – do this monthly! Schedule 20 minutes during which new employees are introduced and can mingle with everyone from the CEO to the folks who clean the building (don’t ask who I think is more critical to success!)
- Schedule Follow-Up Time: When you’re the new employee, everything can seem like a whirlwind. People coming and going; new faces and places… meetings and webinars, oh my! As the first 30, 60 and 90 days breeze by, schedule time to meet with your new employee to give them time to ask questions, make suggestions and share ideas. It’ll be the best short-term investment you can make in your new team member!
There are a variety of strategies that you can use to really help people settle in. The main thing is… do something! Too often we get so distracted with our day-to-day business we fail to really connect with our new team members, and when we do, we miss an excellent opportunity to forge a long-lasting, positive relationship.
About the author: Niki Ramirez is a seasoned professional consultant and coach with a knack for engaging business leaders. She has a successful track record partnering with a wide variety of organizations to analyze current human resources and business operations with the objective of designing cost-effective HR, training, and employee relations programs that help every organizations exceed their goals.
Maybe most importantly, Niki is the proud momma to three strikingly intelligent, gorgeous, funny kids. She loves to horseback ride and get outside to hike and explore the world every spare minute that she has.