You’re excited - you’ve finally hired someone after several weeks of interviews and tedious paperwork! In the beginning, everything seemed to go well, they showed enthusiasm and potential. However, after some time goes by you start to notice that productivity levels are decreasing and that they don’t really have too many friends in the new office.
What went wrong? You liked this person from the beginning and had good reason to believe that they would be an integral member of the team. If they don’t fit in with your company culture though, it could have some serious negative effects on the other employees.
If things don’t change quickly, either you’ll have to let them go or they’ll end up quitting on their own. While there definitely are new hires that should be let go, how do you know when it’s not entirely their fault? How do you make new hires feel welcome and integrate smoothly with the rest of the team?
Here are some measures you can take to avoid being in this situation:
1) “You can’t sit with us” - Mean Girls
What’s the first thing that we are taught when we are in school? Probably to share and make new friends. As we get older, it’s no surprise that some of us have stepped away from these valuable lessons.
Inclusivity is the most important thing a newcomer can feel with your company. Taking the time to get to know your new hires and inviting them to company social events can make all the difference in getting them to feel like one of you. Provide opportunities for coworkers to interact with them and get to know them out outside of work.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to give them a welcome package and make it a big deal that they are one of you now. This will make them feel special and take more pride in their work.
Methods that worked in the workplace:
Stewart Guss, founder, and Managing Partner at a national law firm believes that the most impactful thing you can do to make your new hire feel welcome is to treat them like family.
“We get all the new hires in our “freshman class” and bring them together in a relaxed environment with me, the lead attorneys, and top executives of the firm. We spend a handful of hours telling our stories, introducing ourselves, and making our new members feel welcome. We extend ourselves for questions about anything and we mean it. Whatever they want to know, we'll answer and we'll answer honestly. By the time we are done, the new hires feel welcomed, they know us, and most importantly – they know we are all human and approachable.”
Dan Gardo Co-Founder of Element Talent Solutions suggests to schedule time between the new hires and current employees.
“Before I became a manager, standard practice for welcoming a new-hire was to walk them around the office and do a quick intro with literally everyone. Not only was this informal, but it also wasn't memorable. Once I was in a hiring manager position, I decided that this wasn't how I wanted part of my onboarding process to go. Instead, I aimed to kill two birds with one stone.
Each member of my team was briefed on the new hire before their first day. Then, we came up with a schedule over the first few weeks where everyone would spend at least 2 hours with the new hire. The purpose of this meeting was not only to get to know you but for the current team members to explain their role within the company and how it was connected to what the new hire would be doing. I found that this helped the new hires understand where to go when they needed help, and who to involve in key decision making processes much earlier in their tenure with the company.”
Managers should also take time to set career pathways with their new employees so that they know where they fit in the company and how they will contribute to the team. By showing them the long-term goals and pathways to get there, they will feel more at home with your company knowing that they are a part of the group. Clarifying your expectations will also build their trust in you and your business vision.
2) “I’ve got everything I need, right here with me” - Titanic
So much of the success of new hires lies in whether they have all the resources they need to do their job, and if they know that they can ask for resources whenever they need to. Make sure you train them consistently on the things that are unique to your workplace like office jargon and understand acronyms if you have them.
As their manager, you want to be approachable and willing to communicate. You want them to be able to tell you about new software they find that could greatly benefit their productivity and the company. Give them the opportunity to succeed and look into their needs, and if you can’t afford software A, look into software B. When your employees know that you care about them having everything they need to succeed, they will want to succeed that much more.
Make sure to include other coworkers as resources! Let them know they can ask Ken from marketing for help on one task or Lisa from HR if they have certain questions. You probably can't manage them 24/7, so start introducing them to the people that can assist them when you're not around. Breaking down barriers at the very start of their time in the company is important to help them put names to faces and know the people they will be working with.
Pushpraj Kumar, Business Analyst of iFour Technolab suggests that,
“If an employee comes to you with a pitch or an idea that may not be what you are looking for, choose to respond in a way that won’t discourage them from continuing to try and develop other concepts. Offering encouragement and appreciation for their work is important, even more so when you may reject their first pitch. By conducting a company survey, or even a monthly meeting, giving your staff a voice is vital in making them feel like part of the company.”
3) “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” – Ken Blanchard
In the first three months, make sure you take some personal time to tell your employees how well they are doing and what they can improve upon. Don’t leave this to an automated process or use a plain checklist. During the probation period, however long for your company, it is imperative that you take some personal time to reach out to your new hires and discuss their performance.
Ask them questions like, “What can we do to make your job easier?” or “How are you liking things so far”? Taking the time to do this will keep you on the same page with your new hires and also help you understand what you can be doing better as a recruiter for future new hires.
Once you get feedback, make sure to act on it! Finding details about your new employee and what motivates them is key to the foundation of a long-lasting and happy relationship. Once they know you care about them, they will feel welcomed and won't want to leave!
4)"If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."- Back To The Future
If your plan to make your new hires feel welcomed has failed or if you never had a plan, then it’s time to make a change. Creating an onboarding process will allow your new hire to feel like they are part of the company and will allow all transitions to go smoothly. If you are not sure where to start with developing an onboarding plan, be sure to download our onboarding checklist.
Setting up a good onboarding program is key to producing a satisfied, successful employee with a longer tenure. This is the first thing they will “see” as they are hired on to the company. This sets the tone for how you want the company to look.
These are some of the basic things you can do to streamline the onboarding process and make sure that you have done everything in your power to make the experience of bringing on a new member of the team a successful one! Remember to sign up for a demo to learn how you can build up your company and retain your awesome employees!