5 Ways to Make New Staff Feel Welcome
Discover how you can get things off to a great start when welcoming new staff members to your team.
1.) Be Empathetic
The first day of a new job is always a bit daunting. As you're led around the office, meeting your new colleagues and trying to remember where your desk is within the maze, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and a bit intimidated.
Thus, as a manager, it's useful to think back to your first day on the job and use that empathy as a guide when welcoming new staff members to your team.
2.) Prepare Ahead of Time
To help make the new start feel welcome and a part of the team, it's important that the infrastructure is in place to make them feel at home in their new environment.
Prior to their first day, make sure their work-space is completely set-up and functional. It's amazing how just knowing that you have a computer, an extension on the business phone line, a desk, chair and generally a space of your own, can make you feel at much more at home.
3.) Take Your Time
It's important to make the new start feel well-acquainted with her new surroundings and her fellow co-workers. Of course you have a busy schedule and you may feel the urge to rush through the introduction process a bit - but resist this temptation.
Take your time introducing the new start to everyone and explaining where they all fit within the company. Highlight the most important areas of the office, like the kitchen, toilets, HR's office and reception, etc. Tell them little facts about the people they meet so that they will be better able to remember them and their name in the following days.
4.) Provide Direction
It's often the case with new starts that there isn't much work for them to do in the first couple of weeks. Their schedules will likely include a smattering of training sessions and meetings, but there will probably be a lot of down time in between.
These chunks of time can be difficult for new starts, since they're not sure what they should be doing. Avoid situations like this by giving them direction, even if that direction is saying something like "There's not much for you to do for the next hour, so feel free to just use your computer to catch up on personal emails or read the newspaper in the meantime."
Of course, remind them that checking their social networking sites and sending personal emails is usually frowned upon during work hours, but that it's more than OK during this brief introduction period.
5.) Be Inclusive
Invite your new work colleague to all work events - both inside and outside of the office. If there's an optional training session being held one day, invite them along. Or, if some of you are going out for drinks after work, ask the new start to join you.
It often takes far too long for someone to make friends or even have a conversation with their co-workers. But it doesn't have to be like that. By being inclusive toward the new start from the beginning, you can make them feel comfortable in their work environment much sooner.