Creating a warm welcome for your new employee. Last time we shared 5 tips for preparing for your new employees first day, in case you missed it, here is the link.
Now let us focus on creating a 5-star experience for new team members!
1. Make Introductions! Please please please, I beg you, give reception a heads up that a new employee is starting so that they can give the new employee a warm welcome to the team. If possible it would be even better to have someone waiting for them in the lobby (a resident or team member, or boss!). Take them on a mini tour to introduce them to key players – maybe it’s the leadership team, their own team. Show them places they need to know about while walking around like bathrooms, breakroom, your office, etc. Make it fun – show them off – they are after all the exciting “new kid on the block,” I mean work. If you have an org chart or staff directory, share this with them to help make it easier to learn everyone’s name. And constantly repeat names as you’re making your introductions. Try sharing interesting things about each person to help the new employee remember each person. This is Rebecca, she joined our team 10 years ago, and in addition to working in the kitchen, she also has a beautiful singing voice and sometimes will perform in the dining room for our residents.
2. Immerse the new employee into the culture as soon as possible. We can’t stress enough that if you have a great culture, make it known on day 1. If you don’t have a great culture, then this is a really great way to start making a change and shaping the future of the organization. Plan an activity (especially if orientation is day 1 – activities during orientation are fun and memorial). Give a welcome gift (we all like swag), maybe a t-shirt, a coffee cup, thermos, or even umbrella. Have a welcome breakfast or lunch celebration to help the new employee mingle and get to know their team members, this also is a nice break for your seasoned staff to take a moment and meet with the new employee during dedicated time. Use this same celebration to announce anniversaries and birthday’s if you’d like, it’s another way to make personal connections and help the employee feel your caring culture. One of my favorite things – write a hand-written thank you to the new team member and have it waiting for them at their space (preferably on a clean desk – check out article 1 if you missed it).
3. Remember to show your enthusiasm and be genuine about trying to get to know the new team member. Channel your inner 6th grader who was nervous about the first day of middle school. Remember how scary and difficult it can be to have a first day. Show your support by taking the time to get to know the person and showing your enthusiasm for having them join the team. Even better share something that’s a little personal about yourself, it will help them open up and feel comfortable as well as learn something about you. You might want to share what brought you into this field originally, or perhaps the best part of your job and why. No matter what you say, make sure that when you’re communicating to your new employee you are present in the moment and listening to what they have to say. They are likely sharing valuable nuggets of information that will help you actively engage them in their work over time.
4. Check in with them. Don’t just spend time with them first thing in the morning and forget they are there. Check in with them through-out the day or ask other people to drop in on them as well to see how things are going. Ok, you don’t want them feeling bombarded but you also don’t want them sitting there twitting their thumbs not knowing what they should be doing, or who they should ask for more work. You also don’t want them walking around the halls forgetting where the bathroom is, or which way it was to your office.
5. (10 if you count part 1) – for most people is the hardest part. Ask for feedback. Whether it’s at the end of day 1, a survey at after the orientation, or sitting down at the end of their first week, ask for feedback. I recommend asking them verbally one on one how their first day went. This will help open up the lines of communication and sets an example for giving and receiving feedback. If you use a coaching model at your organization, this could even be an introductory coaching conversation where you share that you’ll meet regularly and that you want feedback to flow easily in the future.
This article was written by team member, Allison Duda.