It isn’t always easy to be the new guy or gal on the team. Studies show 56 percent of new hires say they’d love to have a buddy or mentor for their first week, and 59 percent want a company tour. New hires can feel like the awkward tween holding his food tray looking for a place to sit in the cafeteria on the first day of school. Painful.
What can you do to ease the transition? Besides offering them a seat next to you in the break room. Give them an easy and convenient way to learn their way around the office. Something that will give them more confidence that they belong and are part of the team.
We’ve come up with a list of 5 things any company, large or small, can do to help out those new hires who just want to fit in. To help you cross off each of these steps, here’s an onboarding checklist:
It seems obvious, but orientations are meant to orient a person to their new surroundings. A good orientation not only helps a new hire feel welcomed, but it also boosts confidence and helps them feel like they made a good decision choosing to work for your company. Bonus for you is that it brings the new hire up to speed much quicker so they can get to work sooner.
Your new hire orientation should calm the fears of the new hire, not overwhelm them with too much information. What are some of the things you should cover?
A tour of the facility or facilities
A brief discussion about the mission and goals of the company
The company org chart
“Housekeeping” items, such as locations of bathrooms, break rooms, parking, etc.
An introduction to the technology, including computer, email, phones, apps, etc.
Job expectations and review cycle
Company culture and etiquette
Most of us don’t work in isolation but on a team. Do your new hires a favor and introduce them on the first day to the entire team or anyone they will likely work with at some point. It’s not enough to do it in passing. Show your new hire that everyone is excited to meet them and benefits from their contributions by scheduling an informal meeting.
Here are some ideas of what you may want to do during the meeting:.
Introduce the new hire but let the team tell a little about themselves before asking the new hire to talk about themselves
Invite the new hire to talk, including their past employer and job function, specific contributions they made, hobbies and interests, family, and any job goals they have
Discuss how the new hire will fit into the team dynamics
Identify the new hire’s “go-to” person or people should they have any questions
Leave time at the end of the meeting for team members to personally approach the new hire for casual chit-chat
Employee onboarding software may be a new hire’s best friend. Thanks to technology, new hires can quickly connect with co-workers with the swipe of a finger. Employee onboarding software organizes the company directory with more than just names and titles. Think photos, department, location, skill sets, areas of expertise, management roles and direct reports, hobbies and interests, previous employment, educational background, and more. How awesome would that have been when you started with your company? A bit different from handing a new hire a PowerPoint slide with a few management names and titles.
Today’s onboarding software puts this detailed information and so much more into the hands of every new hire and employee, accessible 24×7 for those over-achievers who want to study names and faces into the wee hours of the night. Instead of pinging your boss or the unfortunate coworker sitting next to you with relentless questions about who is who and who does what, you can just hop onto an app and search for whatever and whoever it is you need.
When you’re learning something new, you wouldn’t want anyone to expect perfection on the first attempt. Give your new hire a small, easy project to get acclimated to how things are done. Set the expectation that you know this is a first run and there’s no pressure. Provide them with all of the resources they would need to accomplish the task. Point them to the employee onboarding software to find out who they may need to talk with in order to succeed.
When the project is complete, give them honest feedback on how they did. According to one study, 57 percent of employees prefer corrective feedback over praise. A surprising 92 percent agree that, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.” It seems people really do want to do well and please their bosses. As long as the criticism is constructive, honest feedback is usually appreciated.
This might sound like unicorns and rainbows, but the truth is, people respond to emotion. By doing something nice for a new hire, like bringing them lunch or a coffee, they instantly feel liked. I’m pretty sure no one ever got mad at someone for bringing them free food. Unless maybe if they told you they are vegetarian and you brought the barbecue. Simple acts of kindness shows you care, that you understand the first few weeks of a new job can be rough, and that you listened when they said they loved macadamia nut cookies.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few websites that are full of great ideas you and/or the new hire’s coworkers might use:
It’s up to each individual to make a new hire’s transition a little easier. As the Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” You were a new hire once. What can you do to make their experience a little better? For a little help implementing a strong onboarding experience, download out onboarding checklist.