The first few weeks of your new hires are crucial. It can make or break their decision to be with the team for the long haul. For sure, you know well about the consequences of that choice. If they stay, thrive, and use their talents to the full potential, that means that you can grow better and succeed perhaps greater than you foresee. If they leave, that means that you will go back to the recruitment process. It isn’t only gruelling but also costly, while possibly handling disgruntled, disappointed ex-employees. Your goal then is to make the transition for your new hires as smooth as possible so that they will stay. Here are onboarding strategies that can help in making new hires feel welcome:
Organise a team lunch
This isn’t just to formally introduce new employees to the team they’ll be closely working with. In fact, it’s for informal purposes: letting them loosen up and getting to know them on a more personal level. When you share life over food, talking about family, interests, hobbies, and aspirations, you find commonalities among each other in one way or another. This will create a sense of connection that your new hires will appreciate and get excited about.
Go out of the office and treat your team to some nice pasta and wine. For some added team spirit, go out in your work uniforms.NZ-based HR specialists explain that this could further boost that sense of belongingness. Prepare some icebreaker questions, too, so that your conversations will be much more intentional.
Pair them up with a mentor
No matter how talented your new hires are, the first days on the job can be really intimidating. They’re trying to have a feel of their tasks and expectations from them. They’re trying to have a feel of their environment and the people around them. When you give them a mentor, this accomplishes two things. One, it allows them to learn more about their job and therefore build confidence in it over time. Two, it gives them an instant friend or at least a go-to person and seatmate for lunches or team huddles. Come up with a buddy system before the new hires come in. Encourage your current employees, especially those working for you for three years and up, to volunteer as mentors. If you want, include it officially in your incentive program.
Talk to them one on one
Check on them every now and then for the first 30 days. Have their department managers do the one-on-one talk. On the management’s end, this conversation will be beneficial for knowing what the new employee’s struggles are. You’ll be able to come up then with action plans that can help them. On the new hire’s end, this will communicate that you care about them. You’re willing to take the time to sit down with them. You understand that they still need assistance and support. End your conversations with them not only with a note of encouragement but with a challenge. Have them embrace your vision as a company. Invite them to take part in reaching your bigger goals. Let them see how growing in your organisation allows them to grow in their personal careers.
If you will notice, the warm-welcome strategy consists of relationships in different levels: groups, pairs, and personal. Cover all these bases, and you can guarantee that your new hires will feel like they belong even in their first few days.