This is one of those topics that is always interesting to talk about when you share you previous work experiences with friends and acquaintances. Being new in a company can be a little intimidating since you are entering a new environment. Some people have a natural ability to welcome people and make them feel part of the team right away. This fortunately was the case for me when I started at Appointedd. It was my first time in Edinburgh and the team welcomed me when I arrived (even though my starting day was 10 days later). We visited the city all together the whole day and went for a few pints. What better way to get to know each other better, right? Now of course, it is not always like that nor it is always possible to do it this way. Still, you might need to consider some elements that are important when welcoming your newest member of staff.
Company culture and objectives
Nobody really likes to feel like the outsider of the team. It is important from early on to communicate to your new staff the company culture, its activities, its challenges and goals. People do not necessarily do this as it may seem obvious or unimportant. Your new recruit has to be given the best overview possible of your business. Knowing what is going on will allow the new employee to have a clearer idea about what he/she has to do and how to behave. Furthermore, he/she will feel more strongly committed to new responsibilities rather than feeling like a stranger being dropped in the middle of an unfamiliar place.
In a company, there are a lot of small little elements that actually matter but that we do not automatically think about. Does your company have any kind of network or have personalized email addresses? Then give your new staff one. The same goes for keys. Having to ring the bell every time in the morning might give some people this feeling of being a stranger knocking at someone’s door. Depending on the activities, also assign your new staff equipment and workspace: it is not particularly pleasant to work on the corner of a colleague’s desk or to have to ask to borrow something all the time. Try to think of all the useful information that a new person could need (where to eat, how to get to your workplace with public transportation/car pooling etc.).
“No keys, no personal desk – I feel like an unwanted child!” – L. McDougall
What was nice when I first came to Silicon Walk – the co-working space where Appointedd is based – is that I was introduced to pretty much everyone that was here. Now, since my capacity to remember names is the equivalent of a goldfish’s, I cannot say for sure that I know everyone but I know who they work for and what they are doing. Being introduced to people working in the same place reinforces this feeling of being officially part of this new environment and allows the new recruit to start bonding with new colleagues. You should also inform your current staff that a new recruit is coming.
It is important as well to prepare a list of things to do with the new staff. There is generally some training in the middle of that as some aspects of your business may require it. Believe me or not, but it actually felt great to see a lot of exciting tasks that I had to do on my Trello board when I arrived at Appointedd. You know that you are here for good reasons and that people are expecting results from you. That reinforces the relationship between you and the new staff as you show him/her trust and expectations. The training part is also important. Even though some people like a good challenge, throwing them in the pool without teaching them how to swim might not be optimal.
New employees who went through a structured on-boarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years. – The Wynhurst Group
Taking the proper amount of time and energy to welcome new recruits is really beneficial. Of course, that would depend on the size and type of your business and how busy you are. However, it always helps people relax and leave the anxiety of being the new guy/girl in the company. It is all about increasing one’s confidence. Some people need to feel more confident in order to deliver their best and take initiative at work. That is something you can help from day one.
Published on 25 June 2014