Being the new kid on the block at work can be daunting – both for new employees and the team they are joining. What was once familiar is now uncertain. Will I be able to do the job? How will I fit in?
Likewise, a well-tuned team can have concerns about how new employees will change the team dynamics. Will they be a team player? Are they going to invade my space, takeover my responsibilities?
Changing jobs is ranked at the top of stressful life events – and it is on the rise. More than one in five employees are looking to leave their current positions in 2016 – a 5 percent increase over last year, according to CareerBuilder study.
So, how can you make this transition as easy as possible for everyone and keep the business momentum moving forward? It’s all about preparation, support and communication – and it starts from the day the new employee accepts your offer
1. Glad you’re here
Nothing says welcome to the company more than arriving to your new job with your office stocked and ready to go. Make sure that you supply your new employees with everything they need to get started – their own personal space, supplies, necessary computer software, log in information. Taking some time to get things organized prior to their arrival can make a huge difference and go a long way in making them feel a part of the team from the start.
2. Meet and greet
Take some time to introduce new employees, not only to the immediate team, but to people in other areas of the organization. Some companies find it helpful to conduct short, 15-20 minute meetings with people from different departments. This offers a stress-free way to familiarize everyone with the new additions to the team and help educate new employees on the inner workings of the organization. It also helps to open communication channels across the company and offers a great opportunity to promote a supportive company culture. The team and the new hire will both reap the benefits.
3. A helping hand
Mentoring can help speed up the onboarding process by providing one-on-one support for everything from learning about company policies to who to call for computer issues. This can ease the strain on the new employees, team and manager. It’s a great way to build trust and relationships from the get-go. Remember that newcomers are uncertain about their new roles and responsibilities and who to go to for help. By providing a mentor, you’re adding an extra layer of support for them, helping to reduce the stress that is normal during the onboarding period.
4. Welcome to the community
It is important to help your new hires get familiar with the company culture. Spend time going over your company’s mission and values. What does your company believe in? How is the culture cultivated in the day-to-day workplace? What are the overreaching goals and expectations of the company and how do the employees make those a reality? Taking the time to explain your company culture and how everyone plays an important role in the success of the organization can go a long way in cultivating a feeling of belonging. This is a great way to support a positive team mentality from day one.
5. Too much of a good thing
Sometimes new employees can be overzealous and on a mission to prove themselves. This can backfire and cause strife within the workplace. The key is to address this behavior upfront and in a respectful way. Take into consideration that the behavior could be a nervous reaction to the stress of taking on a new job. If new employees challenge how things are done, it might be helpful to explain that there are tried and true ways of doing things and this is the way it is done here. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand that it will take some time for them to feel comfortable. Also, consider the affect this can have on the current team members. They could be feeling threatened by the new employees’ pushy behavior. Let them know that you are addressing the problem. Communication is key.
6. It’s the little things that count
Are your new employees’ offices located in a high-traffic area? If so, can you find a better space? Is there a special software program that could make their job easier? How about their hours? Is the company flexible on start times? If so, offering the employee a choice shows that you care about their work/life balance. The basic tenant of “treating others as you would like to be treated” is a good motto to follow when it comes to getting off to a great start with new employees. People like to feel valued. Being proactive and investing in your new employees will offer them the best opportunity to succeed and become a positive force within your organization.
Taking the time to nurture your new employees during the onboarding process offers them – and your business – the best possibility for success. Download our free e-book, How to Develop a Top-Notch Workforce That Will Accelerate Your Business, to learn more.