There are few events more stressful to a new hire than their first day at work. Helping new employees feel welcome can not only alleviate their stress, but it can lead to them being more productive.
How to Make New Employees Feel Welcome in the Workplace
Let's face it, first impressions are important, so that's why we came up with this list of ways to make a new hires first day on the job a success.
1. Give your new hire a good tour of the office
Nearly every first day starts out with a tour of the facility, but that doesn't mean it has to be mundane. Don't just point out the water cooler and the copy machine, let your new hire know where people congregate during breaks, show them a good place to get some quiet thinking done, give them a sense of what your office is all about. This will help them adjust to their new surroundings right away.
2. Introduce your new hire to their co-workers
It's not easy being the new kid at school. Everyone else already knows each other, and new hires never feel like part of the group at first. The sooner you can help them assimilate, the sooner they'll feel comfortable and start producing their best work. They're going to have a lot of new names and faces thrown at them on that first day, so let them know its alright if they need a week or so to get to know everyone.
3. Set up their workspace
Give your new hire a clean, stocked, and organized place to work right from the start. They'll thank you for it, and they'll feel like they can start being productive right off the bat. Give them everything you think they'll need to get started, but don't forget to show them where they can get more supplies if they need them. Check out Lifehacker.com's tips for organizing a workspace.
4. Give them something to do right away
Start small, but give your new hire some tasks to get moving on right away. Your new hire wants to demonstrate their value to the company, so let them! Give them a light workload the first day, and run through the first week or so. When they go home that night they'll not only feel like they accomplished something, but they'll have an opportunity to digest the next few days of work.
5. Community, community, community
You should already be working to make your office feel like a community, and the sooner your new hire feels like a part of it the better. Don't forget to provide them with an email list, and invite them to participate in the company's social media. It's also a good idea to make sure you new hire is invited to any upcoming company gatherings. They'll feel like part of the team, and you'll get more out of them as a result. (NW Jobs has some great tips for how to promote community in the workplace.)
6. Take them out to lunch
This is one of the best things you can do for a new hire on their first day of work. Not only do you get a chance to chat outside of the work-environment, but people love free food. It also helps to show them some of the local lunch options.
7. Be Patient
You should always be patient with your employees, but go the extra mile for new hires. First days can result in information overload, and mistakes are likely to be made. Allowing a new hire some time to find their footing will alleviate the stress of future projects, and help them to feel comfortable in their new environment.
8. Be available
You're going to be one of the first people that your new hire meets. This means they're going to want to look to you when they have questions. Let them. They'll start trusting you sooner, and they'll be able to concentrate on their new role in the company knowing that you're there to help.
9. Give them a gift
Maybe it's a coffee mug, a polo shirt, or a flash drive. Give your new hire something with your company's logo on it. They'll feel special and they’ll feel like part of the bigger picture. Everyone likes gifts, and even though it's something small it will brighten their first day from the start.
10. End the day with a friendly conversation
Check in with your new hire before they head home from their first day of work. Ask them how everything went, see if they have any questions or concerns, and thank them for helping out. They'll leave the office knowing that you've got their back, and they'll come in the next day feeling like they belong.
With these simple steps, you can turn one of the most stressful days in a new hires life into an overwhelmingly positive experience, and learn how to make new employees feel welcome with every new hire. A happy employee is a productive employee, and starting your new hire off on the right foot will do wonders for their morale.