Integration and retention of your new employees start during the hiring process, and intensify when the new employee starts the new job. If you follow these welcome and onboarding steps well, you will create a successful new employee.
Before the New Employee Start Date
- Contact the new employee shortly after he or she signs and returns your job offer. The purpose of the email or phone call is to express your excitement that the new employee has joined your team. This call is best made by the hiring manager, the employee to whom the new employee will report. This will Sset up the expectation that the new employee will hear from you regularly during the normal two-four weeks before the start day.
- Send benefits information and the employee handbook early so that the new employee may review them at his or her leisure and arrive on the first day with questions. You may have other documents that are pertinent to your business to share as well. These actions contribute to the trust you are establishing with the new employee.
- If your organization has an internal online network, provide the new employee with early access. This is especially important if you have an online staff directory with photos of employees. Your new employee will feel as if he or she is getting to know their coworkers early.
- Send an official company welcome letter from Human Resources. This welcome letter for the new employee should contain a confirmation of such items as start date, start time, work dress code, the first day’s schedule, and other details that the new employee needs to know.
- Assign the new employee a mentor, a more experienced employee with no reporting relationship to the new employee. The mentor should call the new employee to get to know him or her before the start date.
What to Do During the Final Days Before You Welcome Your New Employee
Prepare for the employee’s first day by having everything ready for his or her arrival. Develop a checklist for new employee preparation that includes assigning a computer or laptop, installing software programs necessary, preparing a desk and cubicle or office, providing mail access and an email account, and so on.
Decorate the new employee’s office area with welcome signs, flowers, and snacks. Let the quirkiness of your employees and work culture shine through in the items that you provide to welcome the new employee. Company swag is appreciated, too.
What to Do To Welcome the New Employee on Day One
Make sure that the first day’s schedule is full of meeting people and onboarding activities. Schedule a good portion of the morning with the new employee’s supervisor and mentor. This is your last chance to make a positive impression on your new employee.
Prepare an onboarding schedule in advance that is customized to the needs of the department and the new employee. Make sure that the onboarding schedule fills only part of each day so that the new employee can feel productive immediately in his or her new job. For example, one company required that the employee’s manager put together a 120-day onboarding plan that provided something new for the employee to learn every day.
Make sure that the new employee meets with Human Resources staff on the first day so he or she can ask questions about benefits, policies, and compensation. HR cooperates with the manager and mentor to tell the new employee what he or she needs to know and to introduce the culture and the organization’s expectations of employees.
Schedule lunch on the first day with the new employee’s coworkers. The new employee’s supervisor and mentor should also attend this lunch. The goal is that the new employee has the opportunity to meet many new coworkers from across the organization so they feel welcomed and part of their new workplace.
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