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Seven things to do on day one.
The first thing many new employees hear on day two is “oh, you decided to come back”. It’s an annoying, clichéd comment, but it does resonate some truth: most new team members will grasp within hours of starting whether or not they see a future in the organisation. And often they won’t stick around that long if they don’t. Therefore, it’s important for employers to provide a welcoming environment that encourages cultural integration. Here are seven strategies for day one:
First impressions count, so make sure you have cleared enough time in your calendar to give them a warm greeting. It’s important you set the right tone – a friendly, casual way to do this is to take them out for coffee.
The sooner the better. You don’t want them walking around feeling like an outsider. Mention their new position, what they are going to bring to the business, and how they will interact with others in their role.
Example script: “This is Tom, our new editor. He’s had experience at some international arts publications so we’re excited to have him on board. Tom, you’ll be working with Suzy weekly to produce the magazine.”
Pair your new recruit with a personable, experienced staff member to help make their induction more comfortable. Their “buddy” can be the one to help them change the copy paper, teach unwritten rules of the kitchen and give them tips on where to get lunch nearby. It’s best if this person has no reporting relationship so it’s more relaxed.
The best way to make your recruit feel part of the organisation is to get them involved. Once you have set up their station or desk give them a simple task that’s in line with their expertise. For example, if they’re a social media manager ask them to start reviewing the business’s social media accounts. That way they won’t be left twiddling their thumbs.
This is a great casual way to help with team bonding. For better or worse, work topics often have a habit of creeping into conversation at group lunches, so this may help the new employee feel like part of the team.
Schedule these later in the day with key people who they’ll be dealing with in their role. Not only will this help show how the office operates, it’s also a great way to initiate solid workplace relationships.
Before your new employee heads home, check in with them. Ask if they have any questions or concerns, and how they are going with their task. If they have finished, it’s good to set them another one for the morning, so when they arrive they can get stuck into it.
Oh, and thank them again for joining the team. If they feel appreciated and valued, they’ll likely stay for the long haul.