We all know what it’s like to start a new job. So much to learn, so many names to remember, so many halls and offices, feelings of nervousness, trying to learn their technology, trying to see where exactly you fit in…it can all be quite overwhelming.
So, what can companies do to help make their new hires feel more comfortable? How can companies help build a bridge to success for their new hires? Here are a few ideas:
- Technology. Have all technology (i.e. laptop/computer, phone, etc.) ready for the new employee prior to joining the team.
- Orientation. Create a personalized orientation program
- Try ice breaker games to get new employees to talk about their strengths (and then focus on those strengths throughout orientation).
- Use skits, games, music, and other fun activities to get the new hires to open up about themselves and to others. Make them feel comfortable.
- Paperwork. Send the new-hire paperwork to them prior to orientation to be completed prior to the first day. Get the yucky paperwork stuff out of the way so you can focus on the fun stuff.
- Into the fire. Depending on the new hire’s position in the company, get them out on the front lines the first day. Show them what they will really be doing, and then show them how they’ll get there.
- The scoop. Give the new-hire the inside scoop about the company. I don’t mean to talk bad about the ‘problem children,’ but do let them know about any formal or informal rules around the office (i.e. it’s okay to shut down 5 minutes early to get ready to go home, or most of the office staff arrives at 8 am, or your boss is usually here between 8 and 8:30 am, etc.).
- Tour of the office. Give the new-hire a full tour of the office. Don’t just assume that they will know where the bathroom and break rooms are, because chances are they won’t.
- Attention. Have the new-hire’s supervisor be available to give them some one-on-one attention to answer any questions.
- Lunch. Have the new-hire’s supervisor (or department) take them to lunch. It’s a small break away from the office that allows them to relax a little and get to know the people they are working with a little better.
- Talk to them. Talk to the new-hire at the end of the day. Find out what they think about the company, about what they’ve seen already, if they have any concerns, etc.
The more comfortable you help a new-hire be, the faster they’ll fall into their job role, and the faster they’ll start fitting in with the culture of the company. Doing this can lead to higher employee satisfaction, reduced turnover rates (i.e. higher retention), harder working employees, higher rates of loyalty and dedication to the company, and improved sales numbers (translated to increased profits).
As companies change their perception of customers, they must also change their perception of their employees. Keep in mind that you may know the ins and outs of your business, but the ‘new kid’ doesn’t. Start off on the right foot with the best ‘first day’ an employee could have.