Be prepared to welcome new employees with warmth, a ready space, and a few creative ideas that’ll be helpful, memorable, and smart.
Welcome, New Employee! That’s what the imaginary sign in your head should say as you onboard a new hire. The job offer has been made, and the new position has been accepted. This should be an exciting time, both for the new hire and for your company. New employees bring new ideas and skills to your company. Use those ideas to improve your company’s productivity as well as its culture.
But it’s important to be prepared and to welcome the new employee properly. You can do this by thinking through your hiring process. Announce the new hire to your existing employees through email. Prepare the employee’s workspace. Make sure that all the new hire paperwork is organized. Maybe plan an activity so that your new employee and your existing employees can get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere.
Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to make your new hires feel welcome and excited about their new roles in your business:
1. Send an employee introduction email
Subject: Welcome Aboard! Before the employee’s arrival, send an employee introduction email to the department or the team. If your company is small, this announcement can go out to every employee. Along with encouraging a warm welcome, the new employee announcement should include some basic information about the new hire:
- Job title.
- Team on which they’ll be working.
- A little personal information, such as favorite hobbies or foods.
Send an email announcing the new employee’s arrival date and provide your existing staff with a little information about them. When you do, you are helping to acclimate your staff to the new staff member.
2. Prepare their space
To welcome new team members and to make a good first impression, it’s important to ready the new hire’s workspace. Make sure that you’ve contacted your IT department and that the new employee’s computer, phone, email, and network access are set up and functioning correctly. Next, make sure that any office supplies are ready in their workspace. This might include notebooks, loose leaf paper, folders, paper clips, binders, and a stapler. If you want to get fancy, you could also create a welcome message sign and post it; maybe even with balloons.
3. Make a plan for your employee’s first day
Once you’ve prepared your employee’s new space, make a plan for your employee’s first day. This helps you stay organized and it shows your new employee that you are a company that values preparedness. Some things that you might want to accomplish on your employee’s first day of work include these:
- Meet them at the front door or in the lobby to offer a warm welcome and to prevent any uncertainty about where they should go.
- Take your new employee on a tour of the office and the building to ensure that they know where everything is located.
- Formally introduce your new hire to the department or team.
- Fill out all the new hire paperwork.
- Make sure that they can log in to all their needed accounts.
4. Provide a staff directory
Ensure that your new employee has access to a staff directory. For most companies, this means ensuring that your new hire knows where the staff directory is on the internal company website. You might even bookmark the page before their first day, while you’re getting all their accounts set up. To make things even easier, you could print out a page or store a document on their computer with all the names of their coworkers and anyone else they may need to contact during the course of their day. This list could include:
- The human resources department.
- Their team members.
- Their immediate supervisor.
- Anyone you’ve assigned to help mentor the employee.
- The IT department.
5. Consider simplifying first-day paperwork
A proper onboarding process requires that employees fill out certain forms. These may include benefits documents, tax forms, direct deposit information, payroll forms, and the back page of the employee handbook. They may also fill out medical and emergency contact sheets and an employment contract, if your company requires one. In order to simplify this process, you may want to give your new employee access to a paperless onboarding portal prior to their start date. This will allow them to fill out all the paperwork ahead of time. It’ll also give you time to review the paperwork to make sure it is filled out completely and correctly. That way, all you have to do on the first day is have the employee correct any mistakes or fill out any forms they may have missed.
6. Introduce the employee’s coworkers and assign a mentor
Remember to introduce your new employee to the team. This gives your employees a chance to introduce themselves. It gives your new employee a chance to meet everyone they’ll be working with on a daily basis. During this time, you may also want to introduce the employee to the team member who will be their mentor while they learn their job responsibilities and complete their training.
7. Start your employee on their training program
Once all the welcome to the team formalities have concluded, start your new employee on their training program. Most employees have computer-based lessons that they need to complete in order to learn their job duties, to understand the company policies, and to learn about the company culture. Show your employee how to log into the training portal and get them started on their first few lessons. You may also get a fresh perspective on this process if you survey the new employee about their experience upon completion of the training program.
8. Plan an activity
To further welcome a new employee to the team, consider planning an activity. Some ideas might include:
- Host a catered lunch or a potluck in which everyone contributes a dish.
- Take the team to a favorite local eatery where everyone can relax and unwind for lunch.
- Throw an after-work happy hour at a local restaurant or bar.
Events like these can give your new and current employees a chance to get to know each other in a more open, casual environment. You’ll be encouraging them to build solid relationships and strong channels for collaboration.
9. Give a welcome gift
Consider giving your employee a Best wishes, welcome-to-the-team! gift. This could include a branded item with the company name or other useful things and items, like:
- Coffee mugs and water bottles.
- Office equipment, like pens or notebooks.
- A map that shows the best lunch spots in the neighborhood.
- The best places to go for a walk in the area.
10. Check in at the end of the first week
At the end of your employee’s first week, remember to check in to ask your new hire how everything is going. Ask about their week and listen to their unique perspective. Answer any questions they may have and help them get prepared for next week. Doing this small task will help your new employee feel supported and appreciated. You are helping them acclimate to their new job and to the company culture.
Give your new employee a warm welcome and help set them up for success. It doesn’t have to be a complicated process if you properly plan your employee’s onboarding process. By being prepared, you can help create a smooth employee orientation, introduce your new hire to their coworkers, and get them started on their orientation training so that they are set up for success.
To learn more about hiring, training, and managing new employees, check out our helpful Workest articles.