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Ten Ways to Welcome New Employees

February 10, 2010

It’s easy to overlook new employees. Project deadlines, meetings and other responsibilities often become more important than checking in with the new hire. But welcoming new employees is important for several reasons. Not only will recruits better understand their new workplace, they will feel more comfortable and confident if their peers and supervisors make an effort to welcome them. Follow these 10 tips to ensure that your new employees feel at home in your organization.

Welcome them upon arrival. Don’t leave your new employees in the waiting room on their first day. A supervisor or co-worker should be available to greet the new hire as soon as he or she arrives. First impressions can often determine the tone of relationships, so make sure that you’re attentive and friendly.

Introduce them to others at the company. Though all of the new names might be a little overwhelming, try to introduce new employees to members of their team and other important people in the company. Also, send an email that announces new workers’ arrivals and describes some of their past experience so that veteran employees are aware of their skills and background.

Have their workstation ready. Arriving at the office to a fully functional computer, phone system and work area is definitely meaningful to new employees. Have an IT representative walk them through passwords and other technology setup procedures. If your company employs an ergonomic specialist, have that person stop by to make sure that the desk, chair and keyboard are properly configured. Be sure that news employees are comfortable, and address any concerns that they might have about the new space.

Assign work buddies. Work buddies can help recruits comfortably transition to their new professional environment. The buddy should work in the same field and be able to answer questions, explain policies and offer encouragement for the first month of a new hire’s employment.

Take them to lunch. A welcome lunch with team members and supervisors is a fun way to greet new employees. Be sure to ask new hires about diet preferences and food allergies — for instance if they are vegetarians or allergic to seafood — before making restaurant reservations.

Give them a tour of the building. New employees should be comfortable navigating the workplace. Make sure that they are familiar with important locations in the building, including bathrooms, the kitchen, and additional entrances and exits.

Explain your expectations. Review new employees’ job description and explain any additional responsibilities so that they understand your expectations. Describe the professional hierarchy within the new employee’s team — for example, who they report to and who reports to them. Finally, go over day-to-day work operations in order to help new hires prepare for the first few weeks.

Give them something to do. It’s hard to jump right in when you’re new, but it’s even worse feeling as though you aren’t needed. Make sure that new employees have a training manual to read and small, simple tasks to complete during their first few days. They will feel valued and useful but not overwhelmed.

Get the paperwork in order. Notify HR of any new hires before they arrive. Be sure that your new employees understand all of the benefits, payroll and other forms and know to whom they should direct questions.

 Check in at the end of the day. Stop by your new employees’ workspaces at the end of each of their first few days to find out how things are going. Make sure to answer any questions, and express your pleasure at having the new hires join the company.

With these tips, you can help new employees adjust to your company. Not only will new hires will be grateful for your attention and effort, but your business will benefit from more confident and productive workers.

Source: www.hrworld.com/features by Lea Hartog on April 10, 2008.

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