Five Things to Keep in Mind When Your New Hire Starts
Do you remember your first day at the company? Were you excited? Nervous? Committed? New hires are all of these and more.
No matter how large or how small your company is, how you on-board your new hire can leave a lasting impression. It can either lead to many years of personal commitment from your new hire, or it can lead to turnover. Yes, it’s that important.
Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re on-boarding your next new hire:
Communication – Just because someone has signed on the dotted line, doesn’t imply they are fully committed yet. From the moment they become a serious candidate to your team, it’s important to communicate frequently.
If they have given two weeks’ notice at their current job, be sure to send a quick email or text telling them you look forward to their first day. Do this about one week in. Then the day before they start, make sure at least one person contacts them to make sure they know exactly where to go, what to bring and what time to be there.
Communication continues throughout your new hires first few weeks. Regular meetings, training and one-on-one time are all very important. At about the 7 week mark, a new hire often hits an “overwhelm” wall. Be available to help bridge this so that they quickly hurdle the wall!
Information – Every company seems to have its own set of company-specific acronyms and sayings. It can be awkward for a new hire to be sitting in a meeting and not understand what the RFQ for the NPD SQT is. Make sure to have easy to digest information about the company available starting on day one.
Resources – Many companies have a lot of resource information on an internal website called an Intranet. Many companies fail to tell the new hire that it’s there for them! Additionally, your new employee may need to know how to mail something, order something, prepare travel arrangements, or many other things for which resources exist. Don’t assume they know how YOUR company does it!
Mentorship – An employee may have a manager and a plus one or so, but these are not necessarily mentors. Partner him/her with a team member or cross-functional department member so they have a go-to person. Think of it like a buddy system. There will be questions your new hire will want to ask but may be shy or embarrassed to ask their boss. A mentor can help the situation on an on-going basis.
Personalize the experience – Above all things, make your new hire feel welcome! Nothing says this more than sending out an announcement to the team and company. Put something nice on their new desk, such as a welcome sign, flowers, balloons or something fun. Take them to lunch or if you can’t take them, assign a team member or two to take them. By making it personal, you make the new employee feel welcome and they will be off to a great start.
Overall, try to put yourself in your new hire’s shoes. Don’t just point to a desk and tell them to get to work. Think of it as starting a long, committed relationship with someone with whom you will likely spend many hours. By doing this, you will help yourself and your company in the long run.