Starting a new job can be stressful for anyone. First-day paperwork, training and countless introductions can be overwhelming to a new hire. Taking time to create a welcoming environment for a new teammate goes a long way towards their morale and confidence in their new role on the team.
Going out of your way to make the welcome a team affair shows the new hire that everyone is eager to have them aboard. It is also important to have their workspace and all their supplies ready for them the first day. That way you can let them get involved in a project early on so that they can gain some wins to help build their confidence. Read further for a few creative ways to make the most memorable welcome for your new team member.
Set the Stage
Making a deliberate effort to create a welcoming environment goes a long way towards how the new hire perceives the team and the company. Let them know you and the team has been expecting them and that everyone is eager to meet them. Consider decorating their workspace or hanging a welcome sign. Perhaps you can get the team to create a welcome kit. Get creative and include everything a new hire might need. A coffee mug, coins for the vending machine, desk toys, or a sweater or jacket to help them survive the inconsistent air temperature in the building are all great ideas. Include anything the team feels would have helped them out on their first day.
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Another great idea is to have each team member write the new hire a quick welcome letter that includes a bit of information about them and their role. Let everyone get creative and make them as fun as they like. The letters are also a great way for your new teammate to have something to help them remember everyone’s name.
Provide a Team-Led Tour
The quicker the new hire bonds to the team, the faster they’ll feel more comfortable contributing. As such, it is a good idea to let the entire team give them the office tour. Don’t make it so formal by merely pointing out things as you walk around. Give them tips on which copy machine is the fastest, which vending machines always seem to eat money or how to keep the office coffee pot filled. While these may sound silly, they are part of a corporate culture that could take a while for a new person to learn. Give them a head start by teaching them these things early.
Have Everything Ready
Can you imagine how unwelcome you would feel if you showed up on your first day and the company didn’t even have a workspace ready for you? Spare your new hire the discomfort of this by going out of your way to get them prepared to go their first day. Make sure they have an assigned workspace and stock with all the supplies they might need. Pens, pencils, staplers, paper or whatever else they might need to get them started.
When it comes to paperwork, try not to overwhelm them. Every moment spent buried under a pile of paper is a moment that could be better spent bonding with the team. Not only that, it makes for a very boring day. Try to get the paperwork out of the way before their first day, so that they can get engaged early.
Assign a Buddy or A Mentor
Imagine how hard it can be entering a new environment where you don’t know anyone. Make things a bit easier for your new hire by assigning them a buddy or a mentor before their first day. Introduce your new team member to their mentor by conference call or video conference. That way, when they arrive, they will have someone they are familiar with in a sea of unfamiliar faces. The mentor doesn’t necessarily need to be the person who will be training them. It just needs to be someone that serves as familiarity in a new environment. Not only that, their mentor can serve as their source for questions or issues they may face. A buddy can introduce them to everyone and help them learn the ropes of the company culture.
Have a Team Lunch
Help the team bond right away by taking the new team member to lunch the first day. A lunch outing is a great way to remove the pressure to impress and let everyone get to know each other. Be interested in the new person. Ask them lots of questions to show that you are eager to get to know them. Have everyone on the team share a bit about themselves. Keep things light so that your team member can get back to the office a bit more relaxed than they were when they arrived.
Let Them Participate
Nobody wants to get stuck in a corner with a bunch of training manuals and paperwork on day one. As mentioned earlier, try to get the paperwork out of the way before their first day. Skip the training manuals the first day and let them job shadow another member of the team. Or better yet, allow them to participate in a project for the day. Give them small tasks so they can get some early wins. Giving them early success can build their confidence and help get them engaged as a team player right away.
Make Their First Day a Friday
Monday mornings and mid-week tend to be high-stress days in the office. It will be hard for the team to give an appropriate welcome if they are busy at work on an important assignment. Try waiting until Friday to start a new hire. That way, everyone should be wrapping up work for the week eager to head into the weekend. Not only that, Fridays at many companies tends to be more casual and relaxed. Introducing a new teammate at the end of the week is a great way to help everyone meet without the pressure and stress of the week.
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