How to Make New Employees Feel Welcome

You’ve finished the interview process, selected the perfect candidate to hire, and had them fill out their necessary paperwork. It’s time for your new employee to start their job!

As a small business owner, it’s part of your job to make sure the new hire is welcomed from day one. They should feel like the work environment is one where they’ll feel comfortable collaborating with team members. This kind of atmosphere helps them to excel within their position and allow the business to better retain talented employees.

Business owners welcoming new employee

Unfortunately, not every business puts a warm welcome top of mind when they hire employees. The onboarding process isn’t always prioritized, which can lead to a disorganized start for the new employee. Studies have shown that type of behavior is also bad for business. Employees that do not feel welcomed in the workplace may be less productive and less inclined to stay with the organization in the long run.

What can you do to make new members feel like they’re part of the team? Follow these dos and don’ts to ensure your employees feel valued from day one.

DO… Make A New Hire Announcement

There’s nothing more awkward for new hires than hearing their department say, “I didn’t know we’re hiring.” Keep your team informed with new hire announcements via email or in-person meetings.

Before hiring, you may also want members of that specific department to sit in during the interview process. This gives everyone a chance to meet, greet, and vet potential candidates together. It also provides existing team members the chance to learn more about a new hire’s background, education, and work experience before they’re fully onboarded.

DON’T… Be Unprepared

Put yourself into a new hire’s shoes for a moment. How would you feel if you reported for your first day of work and nothing was prepared for you? Worse, what if nobody at the organization was told about your start date? Chances are your first day’s excitement would damper a bit.

Failing to prepare does a disservice to your business and its new hires. Get ready a few days in advance. Set up their workstation and computers and prepare all email addresses and necessary information the employee needs. Add a few fun “welcome!” accessories to their space, and know exactly what time to anticipate the new hire’s arrival. Prep them with a light first day assignment to ease them into the role, and check in with them throughout the day to see how they’re progressing.

Business mentoring

DO… Be A Mentor

Some organizations may choose to train new employees as a group. However, it can be quite effective to assign a mentor to work with them.

Mentors, especially those issued on an intimate, one-on-one basis, help employees better develop their skill sets in a new work environment. They can act as a go-to resource to answer questions, provide training for the position, and insight into the ins and outs of the business. As time progresses, the new hire will ease into a slightly more senior role. Proper mentorship allowed them to understand more about their role and what’s expected of them. They may even act as a mentor later on to future hires!

DON’T… Neglect Your New Employee

Sadly, this is more common than it sounds particularly if you work remotely. Communicate together with the new hire to determine how you will check in together. If they’re physically present in the office, you may want to hold weekly meetings together or chat before they start their day. Remote workers may rely on Skype or FaceTime to chat via video and messaging apps like Slack to communicate throughout the day.

Encourage new employees to reach out if they have questions, need help, or have any other concerns. You’re here to help them succeed, and checking in shows that you care about their progress.

Business lunch with colleagues

DO… Take Them Out To Lunch

Take your new hire out to a lunch during their first week — or have coffee together via Skype and chat if they work remotely.

Whatever you do, keep the meal casual! Use this time to get to know more about the interests and hobbies of your new team member. Find common ground together — you may discover there’s a TV show you both love binge watching or Instagram account you love following. You don’t have to dine alone either. Bring along other members in and out of your department so new employees can better connect with the team.