A Personal Note from Allison:
I have worked with a lot of employers throughout my career, and the one thing that always surprises me about their hiring processes is that it stops once the new employee begins working with them. Yes, the actual “hiring” is done, but their work is not. Now they can have some fun and really make a great impression on their new hire and help them get oriented to their company and be a contributing member much faster! That’s what this month’s article is all about – Onboarding.
Too many times I have heard about a new employee showing up on their first day of work only to find a crappy chair and a messy desk waiting for them. (I personally found a pre-licked spoon in my drawer!) Not a very nice way to welcome a new employee, not to mention the horrible first impression you are providing them with.
I’m going to make it very easy for you to provide an awesome welcome to your new hire. One that is sure to make them feel welcome, make them feel excited, and confirm that they made the right decision to come work at your company. It’s really simple.
- One week before their start date, send them something…to their home. Flowers are a nice touch, or even a card signed by their new co-workers, saying something like, “we’re looking forward to working with you”. This will not go unnoticed.
- One week before their start date, CLEAN OUT THE DESK they will be using. No one should have to find someone else’s stuff in their new desk. If any office supplies need replenishing or replacing (hello broken stapler!) – take care of it now. Sit in their chair. Does it lean to one side? Did someone put the chair that no one wants at the newbie’s desk? Get rid of it. Replace it with a new one. It does not need to be expensive, it just needs to be functional.
- Prior to their first day, put together an itinerary for the new employee’s first day and first week, and assign them a buddy. The itinerary should include a tour of the facility and introductions to all team members. Plan to have someone take them to lunch on their first day (this is a great opportunity for the whole team to get together), and then book individual team members to have lunch with them on-site for the balance of the week. This will fast-track the “getting to know you” part.
- Make sure to book some time to sit down with the new employee and let them know what you expect from them in their first week, their first month. Make sure they know who to go to if they have questions.
- Do you have company swag? Put together a welcome package and leave it on their desk, with a gift card to a local coffee/tea house. Again, this does not need to cost a lot of money, it’s the gesture that counts.
- On their first day – bring in some fresh flowers (even ones out of your garden) and put them on the new employee’s desk. Bring in enough donuts for the entire office and invite everyone to come in, have a donut and meet the new employee.
- Book time in your (and your new hire’s) calendars to meet at 30, 60 and 90 days. You want to talk about how they are settling in, let them know how they are doing, and also give them an opportunity for feedback.
- During their first week, have their buddy introduce them to the management team and different departments. The buddy should also explain how the different departments work together and who they might interact with on a regular basis from each department.
- During their first week, preferably on their first day – have the new hire meet with Human Resources to get all the necessary paperwork done and deal with any questions regarding benefits, vacation, etc.
I am not saying you have to do all of these, but even if you only did a few of them, think of the lasting, positive impression it will make on your new employee! They will talk about this experience for years to come because…most employer’s DON’T do this!
The onboarding process is all about welcoming and facilitating a sense of belonging. These feelings lead to new employees becoming value-added contributors at a much faster pace, than if you had done nothing at all.
So, how are you going to welcome your next new employee?
I invite you to connect with me, to learn more on this topic, and how I can help you with Human Resources in your workplace.