By Laura McLoughlin
From figuring out where to eat at lunch, to hitting it off with their colleagues, there’s much more to an employee’s first day than showcasing their skills on the job. As this first ‘break in’ day can be cause for much stress for both the hiring manager and new employee, we’ve devised seven useful tactics to make sure that your new hire can quit feeling like the ‘new guy’ and more part of the team from day one:
- Contact them before their official start date
Make sure to contact your new employee before their official start date. You might email them to say you are looking forward to them joining the team, or add them on LinkedIn or Twitter. You could even tweet about the new team member joining your company to make them feel especially welcome.
- Prepare their desk
Make your new hire’s desk a blank canvas. It should be neat with very few items, and there definitely should not be any loose papers from the previous employee who occupied the desk still lying around in the drawers. This will be your employee’s own space in the office, so let them feel like that from the very first time they sit down at it.
- Put together a welcome pack for them
Not only will this help them know everything they may need to about the office and your typical work day, but by giving them branded items like a new notebook and set of pens, you are identifying them as a part of your company, and already a member of the team.
- Take them on a tour
A tour lets your employee get a grips of the office space and find out the essentials, such as where the bathrooms are, where to get coffee, and where to park. This also allows your employee to ask questions about things you may not have even thought to mention until you physically walked past them.
- Give them a task
Make sure that your task is a thoughtful and important, yet not crucial, part of a current project, and that the deadline you set them is generous. This way of easing them into their work, without putting too much pressure on them, allows a new hire to get to grip with the work and the office environment, while making them feel like a valued member of the team.
- Introduce the team to them
Ideally, you could schedule twenty to thirty minutes in the morning to have coffee together and provide your new hire with a snapshot of each person’s role. This is best to do on a relatively low-stress day, such as a Friday when employees are already starting to wind down for the weekend and not rushing off to make deadlines and dig through their emails.
- Connect with them outside of work
If there are any groups or chats on social media, add your new employee to them. Also, a nice touch is to organise a team lunch or night out to celebrate them joining the team, giving them more of an opportunity to connect with their coworkers and you in a zero-stress situation.
Of course, one of the best things you can do for a new employee is be a genuine help. They will have questions, and problems, and will appreciate a smiling face at lunchtime more than you may realise.
Laura McLoughlin writes for My Own Stationery, a leading personalised stationery e-seller based in Northern Ireland.