How To Assist New Employees To Feel Welcome.

New mixed race employee having first working day in company standing in front of colleagues, executive manager employer introducing welcoming newcomer to workmates. Human resources employment concept

Conducting the onboarding process has a dramatic effect on employee performance, engagement and even their tenure. However, gradually more and more demands have been added to the process (i.e. legal requirements, mandatory trainings, pages after pages of employee handbooks). And without warning what started as a positively effective strategy turned into a cascade of contract signing.

But a growing body of research suggests that what employees truly need for successful onboarding is to prioritise connection to their co-workers over documentation and contracting. And further research reveals that success is found in getting employees to feel a sense of progress in their role and getting them engaged quickly.

With those goals in mind, here are several tactics you can utilise to make new employees feel welcome, connected, and on track to making progress in their new position.

Send A Teaser Email

The first tactic to make new employees feel welcome is a before the start date, teaser email. You’ve had interaction with new hires during the interview process, you know their contact information and you most likely know quite a bit about them by now. So why not, a few days before their first day on the job, send them a quick email sharing how excited you are for them to join the team. 

Mention specific information you recall from the interviews and connect it to the work your team will be doing. Just that simple message can help them focus on what they’re looking forward to and help them feel cared for and understood even before you’re technically their team leader.

Provide An “Enter-view”

The second tactic to make new employees feel welcome is an “enter-view.” This is the opposite of the standard interview process. Rather than the new employees telling the team about themselves, it involves the team telling the new hires how excited they are to welcome them. Some of your existing team may have been involved in the hiring process, and this “enter-view” is the chance for them to draw from what they remember to share why they’re so excited for their new teammate. 

Enter-views work best when done in person early on the first day, but it could also be done by bombarding new hires’ desks or email inboxes with positive messages throughout the day as well.

Give Them A Win Right Away

The third tactic to make new employees feel welcome is to give them a win right away. Assign new hires a task that can be completed that very day or an opportunity to contribute their insight to a project right away. And no, we’re not talking about reading a training manual and passing a quiz. 

Instead, find a way they can feel they’ve made a real contribution to the team’s workload on their very first day on the team. It could be as simple as an interaction with a client or pulling them into a brainstorming meeting. Find a small win that can be celebrated right away and follow up by helping them reflect at the end of the day to know that they’ve already made an impact.

Hold A Farewell Check-In

The fourth tactic to make new employees feel welcome is the farewell check-in. At the end of their first day, make sure you hold a quick one-on-one meeting with them to check-in and find out how their doing. This timely feedback holds valuable data and as a team leader you will want to learn their initial impressions and struggles, they had + any connections they’d still like to make. Finish up by reiterating how excited you are for them to join your team (and how grateful you are for the small win they had earlier in the day).

Schedule One Week, One Month Check-Ins

This is where the HOED Research team can assist with an independent survey. New starts are more likely to be open and honest about their feelings, rather than with their new manager or team leader.

The fifth tactic to encourage new employees to feel welcome is to schedule an independent check-in, preferably at one week and one month after their start date, and then a regular cycle of check-ins/performance reviews like you do with every teammate thereafter. 

However, unlike a regular performance review meeting, these initial check-ins are more about learning the new employees’ feelings, thoughts, and desires around the team and their work. Identifying any tension early on is essential, as you will want to know if there’s anything you can resolve or any help you can provide. But you won’t know unless you take the time to check-in and ask.

Conclusion

There are two commonalities behind all these tactics. The first is that they recognise the uniqueness of the new hires and the individual contribution they make to the team. The second is that it offers opportunities for personal connections and check-ins to see how the team fit is going. 

The independent audits conducted by the HOED Research team are by phone and scheduled at a convenient time for the new employee, for example, in the evening or early morning, lunch break etc. The environment (confidentiality) must enable the new employee to be open and honest about their feelings.

Call the HOED Research team today or send an email if you would like to discuss onboarding audits for your new employees.