By | Dawn Castell
It’s always great to have a growing workforce. Of course, that means that even the most skilled new hires will have to be trained in company procedures, systems, and best practices. Most people recognize that the first few days of onboarding at a new job will be a little monotonous, and not representative of what their typical work days will be like. That said, smart employers will see them as an opportunity to welcome new staff members and create a good first impression in the first days of their (hopefully long) career with the company. Here are four simple ways to make that happen!
Have a Workstation Ready for Them
It’s rare to have an employee start immediately after an offer is made. You usually have a week or two, or at least a few day’s lead time. If your business relies at all on employees having an office, desk, computer, or phone, make it part of your onboarding procedure to have your IT team or specialist prepare their area in advance of their first day. Set them up with an email address and necessary security codes and permissions like passwordless authentication. Waiting to do this until after they’re in the building wastes time they could be productive with and may make them feel like their presence is a surprise, or worse, a nuisance.
Start with Introductions
Onboarding usually involves paperwork and training videos, demonstrations or tutorials. New employees are prepared for this, but why dive in right away? Let the rest of the staff, or at least the team they’ll be working with, know that they’re coming. Set aside the first half hour or so of the day to let them meet people and introduce themselves. They may have met some of their coworkers when they came to interview; that’s fine, a little reinforcement of names and faces is always a good thing. Be sure to remind your staff the day before the new hire is coming so they will be able to make room in their schedules if need be.
Prepare a Personalized Welcome Package
Along similar lines to having a “welcoming committee” of employees to great new staff with smiling faces, why not go a little further with a welcome package? If your company requires nametags, fobs for entrances, or logoed apparel, have some ready for them at their desk. It’s okay to guess their size if you’re giving them clothes, just tell them they can exchange it with you if it doesn’t fit. If your company has logoed promotional items like stress balls, pens, or smartphone holders, set them up with some! Also, a very simple and pleasant surprise is a welcome sign or card that people can sign. You can buy a piece of foam core for less than five dollars at a craft store, and large greeting cards are in the same price range. Most companies don’t put this kind of thought and effort into onboarding, but it’s easy and cheap and can pay great dividends!
Break Up the Training Videos
Going back for a moment to the first day or two of onboarding: the training videos, demonstrations, and tutorials are unavoidable. That doesn’t mean they all have to be done back-to-back-to back. Look for ways to build some variety and changes of scenery into the structure of the first few days for new hires. Don’t keep them in the same conference room glued to a monitor by themselves all day. You may not have any control over the quality of the materials you’re giving them. The very last thing you want to do is make a new staff member second guess their choice to come to work for you! If it’s possible in your company’s set up, take them to lunch, or have a group lunch with their immediate coworkers, and alternate self-guided tasks with person-to-person training.
Everyone likes to feel welcomed, especially in personal ways that they’re not expecting. Incorporate these tips into your onboarding and start building new employee’s loyalty and goodwill on day one!