8 ways to help welcome aboard new employees

Even the most seasoned employees can feel awkward on their first day on a new job as they meet new people, learn different procedures and immerse themselves in an unfamiliar corporate culture.

The good news is that a few easy-to-implement things can help smooth the transition and make new hires, whether temporary or permanent, feel right at home.

1. Get the paperwork out of the way. Filling out endless stacks of paperwork is one of the most dreaded parts of the first day on the job, for HR as well as the employee. Why not let your new folks fill out as much as possible, either electronically or on paper, before they start? After all, they are much more likely to have access to Social Security numbers, bank account information and other key details while at home.

2. Get to the office before they arrive. Few things are more intimidating for new employees than to show up early, have the receptionist show them to their desk and then sit there with no one to speak with and nothing to do. Someone (preferably their manager) needs to be waiting in the lobby to greet them when they arrive. Be positive and let them know how excited you are to welcome them to the team. Then offer a cup of coffee and show them to their desk.

3. Have the office ready. A bare desk shoved into a corner probably is not going to convey the message that you are excited about a new employee and have put a lot of thought into their arrival. The new-hire’s work area should be clean, prepared, organized and set up with everything they need (computer, phone, supplies, business cards and file cabinets) to do their job. Then show them where supplies are located and how to requisition an item not in stock.

4. Is the power on? Be sure phones and other electronic equipment not only have been set up in advance but also that everything is working properly. Make user guides and tutorials readily accessible.

Better yet, schedule an hour with a member of the IT staff to bring your new employee up to speed, set up passwords and answer any questions.

5. Assign a buddy. It’s really helpful to have someone who can offer guidance and support, and answer informal questions that may not be covered in the handbook.

6. Show, not tell. Depending on the size of your business, a new employee could meet dozens of coworkers on the first day. The best way to put a name with a face is to show them the face. Provide a collage with the photos of managers and their immediate coworkers. Make it fun by including personal information such as family members, pets or hobbies.

7. Introduce the culture. Educate your new employee about company history, what makes the business special, how it is perceived in the marketplace and how they fit into the culture. As they buy into the corporate culture, they will become your best ambassadors among their social networks.

8. Tour the office. Although this may be the oldest tactic in the playbook, it remains essential. At the very least, be sure to show new hires how to find the HR department, restrooms, break rooms, printers, copiers and other essential areas. The rest can come later.

Whether you need one person or an entire team, Apprentice Personnel will fill your requests quickly and cost-efficiently.   

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