No matter the work environment, it’s crucial for new employees to have a warm welcome by the organization. Entering a new work environment can oftentimes be overwhelming, as they’re faced with endless new rules and standards that come with any new job. I discussed some of the most vital tips organizations should follow when conducting employee onboarding with Megan Johnson, Human Resources Director of PRO Resources, who’s ready to assist you with any HR Consulting needs you may have.
1. Have a detailed offer letter for the employee.
The offer letter can state where to park, what to wear, as well as any other small details that they should be aware of for their first day. Who will be greeting them? Will they have their picture taken on the first day? Is there a standard dress code they should be immediately aware of?
2. Ensure “pre-boarding” is complete.
Prior to the new employee’s first day of work, it’s critical to have all technical details handled. While the standards vary from organization to organization, the majority should complete the following before the newcomer’s first day:
- Have their work computer, email and phone ready for them with instructions and passwords prior to the first day.
- Have other team members from the team send a “welcome” email or message.
- Welcome them on social media platforms.
- Message them a picture of their office, or a short video of the team saying hi.
- Be creative and think outside of the box when wanting to welcome them. Set yourself above the standard!
“Having all these guidelines ready on the employee’s first day shows that the organization is excited for them to start. You never want to be the person, or company, that ‘forgets’ the person is starting today. Don’t be the supervisor that is too busy to introduce yourself and welcome them to the company. How embarrassing would that be?” – Megan Johnson
3. What is the company about?
On their first day, it’s important to explain to them what the company is and representative of. Topics can include company culture, mission, history, expectations of the employee, salary and benefits information and more. Be ready to answer any questions they may have!
4. Provide the necessary policies.
When meeting on the first day and supplying materials, the organization should have copies of employee handbooks, contact information for human resources and company programs (Wellness, EAP, etc) ready for the new team member to review and learn.
5. Create an environment that makes them feel welcome!
Boost their excitement on the first day by making sure that their office or desk is ready for them, complete with some company merchandise! This could be done by offering something as small as a plant, company sticky notes and pens, clothing, a portfolio, a coffee cup or a $10 gift card for coffee. Anything to make them feel welcome and a part of the team!
6. Have a detailed outline of the first 1-2 weeks of orientation ready for them.
While the new employee may have a sense of what the job entails, but most likely are unaware of much past that in the environment. Is there a team lunch on day one? Who will they be introduced to or meeting with? Are there any internal trainings that need to be completed?
“At PRO, I got a detailed schedule of what my first two weeks would look like. The schedule included what clients I would be going to, what internal departments I would meet with and shadow, as well as how our jobs interacted with each other.” – Megan Johnson
7. Ensure that the new employee knows the difference between onboarding & orientation.
While orientation is necessary for completing paperwork and other routine tasks, onboarding is a more comprehensive process. Onboarding is a process of introducing new hires to the new job, acquainting them with the organization’s goals, values, rules, responsibilities, procedures and socializing the new employee into the organization’s culture. Good onboarding leads to higher employee engagement and greater retention rates!
Think Outside The Box
Sometimes, organizations will have new hires complete a “fun form.” This form asks the employee about some of their favorite things, including coffee, restaurants, places to shop, donut, candy, pizza, ice cream, alcoholic drink, clothing size, wedding anniversary, birthday and more. This gives the employer and their supervisors an idea for birthday and anniversary gifts or meals.
8. Make sure all forms are properly filled out and completed!
These forms can include I-9 employee verification, W-4 Form, direct deposit information, as well as NDA and noncompete forms, if applicable. Furthermore, they should have proper access once forms have been filled out. Does the employee have keys or card access to the building if necessary?
9. Assign the new employee a mentor or ambassador.
New employees are more than likely going into the position knowing very few people in the organization. Assigning them a mentor or ambassador gives them someone they can go to ask questions and meet with to get a better sense and understanding of company culture. They can do smaller tasks, such as giving them a tour of the building(s), or larger tasks, such as helping them build connections, both internal and external to the company.
10. Schedule regular check-in’s with the new employee.
Scheduling regular check-in’s can open up and encourage communication within the company and help build a relationship between the employee and employer. It’s important for the employer to reach out and ask them if they have any questions, need clarification on job duties, expectations, policies, troubleshooting, ask for feedback or solve any concerns they may have.
While this is far from an end-all, be-all on proper guidelines to follow when onboarding a new employee, we’re confident that these are great techniques to make sure that new employees are being welcomed with open arms and their motivation is kickstarted to work.