How to Welcome New Employees (Tips From a New Intern)
Onboarding heavily impacts new employees’ attitudes and productivity at work. Here are some helpful tips that I learned during my welcome at Elevate My Brand.
Starting a new job is always nerve-racking, so it’s the employer’s responsibility to make new hires feel welcome, valued and prepared. A new team member’s first contact with your company can make or break their decision to join or stay with your team. Consequently, it’s important to do the work up front in order to avoid employee turnover.
Do the Prep Work
Ideally, your onboarding work should start even before the interview. Whether you are hiring a replacement or for a completely new position, you should prepare guides that make everyone’s life easier as you start onboarding. As your company expands, your guides will ensure that each of your employees receives the same onboarding experience that reinforces company values and trains them for their new position. There are two guides I suggest you create: a master guide and an ongoing reference guide.
1. Develop a master guide.
It’s time to get organized. No matter what stage of life your business is in, you should start planning for growth now.
I have been hired several times when companies really needed the help, but they were not prepared to tell me how I could help because they started the onboarding process the moment I walked in on my first day. Based on my experience, I’ve come to understand that if your onboarding process is disorganized, many of your other processes are probably also disorganized. That’s why your first impression is so important.
In order to avoid inefficiencies, it’s crucial to create a master guide that will facilitate this process. Think of this guide as a script that you can hold during each stage of the process.
Here are some things you may want to include in your master guide:
- List your mission and values to reinforce your company culture.
- Include the workflow of your entire process. (ex. Set a timeline of introductory meetings and training sessions.)
- Add steps for setting up new email and other online accounts as well as payroll requirements.
You are the master of the guide, so develop a plan that will work for you. If you organize this plan well enough, you will constantly refer to it throughout the entire process and will be grateful you took the time to do the prep work.
2. Create reference guides.
Training is one of the most important parts of onboarding, especially when hiring for entry-level positions. If you don’t devote enough time during the training process, it will definitely show through in the team’s performance and productivity.
Something that I found very helpful when I started at EMB was their reference guides. For each task, the team created guides that specifically listed out every step I needed to complete. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful these guides were during my first few weeks.
Welcome People Appropriately
Time you spend on training now is an investment that saves you time on answering questions later. You will likely spend a lot of your time training new hires during their first week, so you might as well make it count. Here are some tips that will make your process more efficient:
- Allow enough time for questions during training sessions.
- Practice new tasks together. Some people are kinesthetic learners.
- Don’t overwhelm them with tasks. Give them time to read through all of the materials you created and to experiment with the process.
Involve the whole team. Not only will the new hires get to know the right person to ask questions to later, but sharing the onboarding responsibility cuts down on time.
You might have missed some steps the first time around, and that’s okay. Each new hire is a new opportunity to button up your onboarding process. After a few weeks, take some time to evaluate as a team how you think the process went, and get feedback from your new hire. If you used these tips, chances are that your new employee will be settled in and ready to give constructive input.
Gigi Toma, Intern
Elevate My Brand