The candidate search is over, the interviewing process complete, references checked, and the right person hired. Job well done. There’s nothing more to see here.
Not so fast.
An accepted job offer may signal the end of one process for your business, but it starts another one of great significance: making them feel they made the right choice. It’s possible they had other offers on the table, but there was something about your organization that stood out. We’ve written about how to determine if a candidate is the right fit during interviews, and now it’s your opportunity to validate their decision by welcoming your new employee the right way.
Have A Welcome Plan In Place
If you ask a current employee, “What was your first day like?” hopefully, they’ll say something like, “It was great. I felt so welcomed, I received such a warm reception, and it confirmed that I made the right choice to work here!” Or, they may say, “Meh, it was fine.”
It’s always a best practice to have a solid welcome plan in place to make that employee’s first day memorable in the right way. The best place to start is with your current employees. Since they’ve lived it, lean on them for ideas on how to orient new hires. Once codified, have staff leverage it as part of the onboarding process. First impressions are everything.
Show them Around
A deer in headlights is not a good look or feeling for a new employee. Part of the aforementioned welcome plan should include giving the employee a tour of the new digs. In addition to their desk, show them where they can find the restrooms, kitchen, meeting rooms, supplies, etc. If your office remains closed during COVID, or if the employee’s position is remote, provide a virtual tour of operations.
Connect with IT
A new employee will need to be connected in order to onboard. Before the employee’s start date, have an IT staffer make sure that the employee’s email, messaging, and phone are set up. In addition, have IT equip these systems to be used remotely. This way, the employee will have full access and use on their first day.
Assign a Mentor
Showing a new employee the ropes with a tour is a nice first step, but assigning a mentor can help immerse them into the company’s culture. The mentor and new hire can go for lunch–social distancing or via video conferencing–as well as offering guidance and support when needed. Depending on the size of your company, this can be one person or a committee. Regardless, you should encourage other employees to offer their wisdom and support as well.
Encourage Company Involvement
Welcoming a new employee extends beyond that individual’s first day. Think of it more as an onboarding process, which can take anywhere from a week to a couple of months. In addition to the job itself, your new employee likely accepted the offer because they liked what they sensed about your company culture and values. Therefore, inviting them to be an active participant in advancing your company culture will serve the dual purpose of making them feel welcomed and staying true to your core values. Ask for input on all the areas they are involved in and practice active listening.
There will always be changes that impact how organizations and people do business. We’re in the midst of the biggest one of our lives. What remains constant is that a new employee needs guidance from the start to be set up for success. You have the chance to make a big difference.