No matter how often you do it, hiring a new employee is a big deal. You want this person to feel welcome from day one, but in the age of remote and asynchronous work, this can be easier said than done. It takes a consistent and dedicated effort to guide new employees through the onboarding process and help them settle in.
Here’s the good news: There are some simple steps you can take to welcome a new employee to your team.
Don’t just send a generic welcome email. Send a personalized welcome email on day one that makes the new employee immediately feel like a valuable member of the team.
Expressing your enthusiasm for their hiring and explaining who they might hear from and what steps they might need to take to set up in the days leading up to their start date is a thoughtful, helpful approach.
Just the same as your welcome email, keep it concise. Your announcement should explain why the new hire is an amazing asset and how they’ll contribute to the team. Providing details about their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities gives the rest of the team an opportunity to plan how they’ll help the new hire integrate quickly. If your new hire is filling a brand-new role, other people will also want to know what the position entails.
It can also be valuable to describe your new employee’s previous experience and areas of expertise—you never know when a colleague has a question the new hire is perfectly positioned to answer.
Finally, make sure their name and contact information are visible in your company directory. At the very least, it’s helpful to show the correct spelling of their name and how they fit into the organization.
It’s one thing for HR or a department head to welcome the new employee, but another thing entirely for team members to reach out. Encourage relevant team members—such as a direct manager or the leaders of other teams they’re likely to work with—to set up a time to talk.
Create a checklist of everything the employee needs to do their job, such as computer equipment, specialized software and tools, and office supplies.
Wait a few days and check in with the employee to see if there’s anything else they might need. It can take time for new hires to get familiar with what’s available before they can determine what else will be useful.
New employees need clearly defined goals and benchmarks so they know what they should be focusing on during their introductory period. A lack of clarity can be confusing and demotivating. Protect against this by setting up a work plan that explains what your new hire can expect week by week for the first month and then in the longer term, such as at the 60- and 90-day milestones.
An internal checklist of tasks and developmental goals will ensure that your new employee is engaged in their training and working towards meaningful results.
Your new hire is sure to have questions. Some may be simple to answer, while others may be more complex. Make yourself available to provide the information they’ll need, even if you need to research or ask another leader and follow up with your new hire later.
Create a list of common questions asked by new employees and use it as a guide to proactively address similar questions and concerns in the future.
In addition to making yourself available during your new employee’s first few days, set up a regular meeting to go over any questions, provide feedback, and touch on anything else of importance. Get this on the calendar early so it becomes a predictable part of their schedule.
Starting with a biweekly schedule ensures your new team member gets the support they need. As they progress, you may feel comfortable switching to a monthly schedule.
Pairing new employees with a “workplace buddy” makes it easier to introduce them to other team members and get them acquainted with the company culture.
If you’re working on-site, have the buddy show the new hire around the space. If you’re working remotely, the buddy may want to coordinate a welcome activity or short meet-and-greets with other teams—this is especially important for helping remote workers feel welcome.
Encouraging peer relationships between new and established team members is one of the most overlooked steps in the onboarding process, but it can be the difference between a new hire settling in and feeling lost.
An effective onboarding strategy is essential to keeping new employees engaged. After 30 to 60 days, ask every new hire questions about their experience, such as:
With each piece of feedback, you can refine your onboarding strategy to ensure even greater success in the future.
Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.
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