Whether you’ve been in business for years or you’re just getting off the ground, hiring new employees can be one of the most stressful parts of business ownership and management.
Don’t think the stress ends as soon as you find someone to fill a position either.
Sometimes, that’s just when the fun is getting started.
From there, it’s important to help orient your new employee to their new work environment, show them around, introduce them to their new co-workers, and make them feel at home. This process isn’t simple, especially if it’s your first time doing it.
To help make welcoming a new employee a bit easier for you (and the employee!), try using these tips.
1. Give them an office tour outside of business hours.
Instead of waiting until the employee’s first day to show them around, give them a tour when your building is virtually empty. This creates a more comfortable atmosphere for getting to know the premises.
Be sure to show them where the bathrooms, kitchen and/or cafeteria, and other key locations are. Explain company rules and regulations, including dress code policies, health and safety standards, lunch and break time procedures, etc. This is a great time to show your new hire their desk or workspace too.
Naturally, you can show them around once again on their first day of actual work, but this first tour is a great way to get them acclimated and oriented without the added pressure of meeting lots of new people and being in the middle of the workday hubbub.
2. Set aside time to spend with them on their first day of work.
Once your new hire’s first day actually arrives, be sure to spend some time with them. In fact, it’s best to meet with them first thing if you can. Perhaps you might ask them to come in a bit early and welcome them with a coffee and a donut. During this time, you can discuss what you expect of them on their first day.
While many bosses will designate another employee to be a new employee’s tour guide and welcome committee, if you can, it’s best if you take on this role. Even spending ten or twenty minutes with a new hire will make them feel distinctive and important in their new position.
3. Introduce them at a meeting.
Whatever you do, make sure you hold at least one universal employee meeting on your new hire’s first day, and then introduce them to the rest of their co-workers.
Furthermore, instead of simply asking your new employee to stand and say their name and position, say a few unique things about them as well. Alternatively, give the new hire a chance to speak for themselves. Sometimes, how you introduce a new hire will depend on their personality. Someone who is shy and reserved may appreciate you introducing them, but someone who talks a lot and likes to express themselves will probably feel comfortable giving their own introduction.
The point is to create an opportunity wherein the rest of your staff can see and hear the name and position of their new co-worker. As a group, everyone will be far more receptive and inviting to this individual if they know who they are and that they’re new.
4. Give them a task they will succeed at first.
There’s nothing like a “win” to get someone amped up for a new job and responsibilities. Often, as the boss, it’s your job to provide that win.
The best way to do this is to give your employee a new task that you know they can ace. If they’re a salesperson, have them update a sales contract with a client you know will renew. If they’re an accountant, give them the task of balancing an easy month of business transactions.
You want your employee to feel warm and welcome on their first day, but you also want them to feel important and needed within your business.
5. Send them home with some swag.
Lastly, give your new employees a swag bag as a gift. Include some practical items like a small calculator, pens and pencils, a notepad, and a water bottle. You can have new employee welcome gifts like this made up in custom reusable bags with your company’s logo on them. They’re the perfect way to tell new hires that they’re appreciated!
Lastly, remember to be patient with your new employee. While their first day on the job may go pretty well, the next day may not be so smooth. In fact, the first few weeks are often hard for many new hires. It’s not easy to meld seamlessly into a completely new environment without at least a few snags.
So, have some patience. With time — as long as you’ve hired a quality candidate — they’ll be able to adapt to your business’s way of doing things and hopefully excel in their position while also enjoying their work.