The Best Ways to Welcome a New Employee

Two coworkers are talking to each other while another coworker is on their computer. There are papers and markers are spread across the table.

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When employ­ees are first hired, it’s impor­tant to embrace them with open arms and make them feel com­fort­able — meet­ing new peo­ple and embark­ing on new expe­ri­ences can be over­whelm­ing and intim­i­dat­ing for many people.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the onboard­ing process has become clin­i­cal for most com­pa­nies. It’s all about check­ing off a to-do list:

  • Com­plete lengthy paperwork

  • Go to a quick intro­duc­tion meeting

  • Take a tour of the office (if in-person)

  • Hear a run­down of com­pa­ny values

  • Watch an out­dat­ed intro­duc­tion video

The real­i­ty is that these cold and tired intro­duc­tions don’t make the best first impression.

Too often, com­pa­nies neglect the most cru­cial part of the onboard­ing process — mak­ing the employ­ee feel val­ued and like they’re a part of the team from the get-go.

This plays a role as to why almost 40% of employ­ees leave with­in their first year. Busi­ness­es have to do a bet­ter job ori­ent­ing their new employ­ees, espe­cial­ly now that an increas­ing num­ber of offices are work­ing in dig­i­tal or hybrid environments.

The Importance of a Warm Welcome

Two co-workers meeting and shaking hands over a table, while other employees are taking notes and drinking coffee.

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Onboard­ing a new team mem­ber sets the tone for the rela­tion­ship between employ­ee and employ­er going for­ward. If it’s a warm intro­duc­tion, where the employ­ee feels wel­come to ask ques­tions and engage, that will set a pos­i­tive prece­dent for the future. 

Alter­na­tive­ly, if the onboard­ing process is cold and dis­joint­ed, the new per­son will feel the com­pa­ny at large is unwel­com­ing. First impres­sions mat­ter a lot with new employ­ees, which is why the onboard­ing process is so crucial.

In fact, peo­ple who had a care­ful­ly cre­at­ed onboard­ing expe­ri­ence were 58% more like­ly to be with the same com­pa­ny three years lat­er. More­over, com­pa­nies with stan­dard­ized onboard­ing process­es saw 50% high­er pro­duc­tiv­i­ty from their new team members.

How­ev­er, it’s not all about pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and longevi­ty. The truth is that it’s stress­ful start­ing a new job with new co-work­ers. Cre­at­ing a warm onboard­ing process helps alle­vi­ate that stress and those first-day jit­ters, pos­i­tive­ly con­tribut­ing to the new employee’s well-being from the very first day.

It’s a way to ensure long-term hap­pi­ness and secu­ri­ty, and in many ways, it’s one of the most com­pas­sion­ate things a com­pa­ny can do. 

5 Steps to Make a New Employee Feel Valued Right Away

Group of co-workers smiling and putting their hands together, creating a team-like environment.

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1. Be Honest During the Interview Process

A com­pa­ny can ensure a suc­cess­ful new hire by being hon­est from the begin­ning. It can be tempt­ing to exag­ger­ate the pos­i­tives of a work­place and down­play the neg­a­tives dur­ing the inter­view process. How­ev­er, that only leads to a frus­trat­ed and dis­ap­point­ed employ­ee down the road. Instead, com­pa­nies should focus on being hon­est with appli­cants from the beginning.

While it might make the job seem less excit­ing, it will ulti­mate­ly result in find­ing the best employ­ee for the job. It also helps estab­lish the com­pa­ny as trust­wor­thy from the begin­ning. If a com­pa­ny is hon­est about its strengths and weak­ness­es, an employ­ee will be more like­ly to trust the com­pa­ny mov­ing for­ward. It’s ter­rif­ic foot­ing with which to start a new employ­ment relationship.

2. Start Engaging Before the First Day

After an appli­cant accepts the job, the HR team or super­vi­sors should con­sid­er send­ing a wel­come email or mak­ing a wel­come phone call to con­grat­u­late the new employ­ee. This helps break the ice before the first day and gives the employ­ee the chance to ask ques­tions before starting.

Addi­tion­al­ly, the HR team should con­sid­er dig­i­tal­ly send­ing all nec­es­sary paper­work over before the first day. No one likes spend­ing their first day at a new job stuck in the HR depart­ment fill­ing out paper­work. Of course, com­pa­nies need to make sure to com­pen­sate the employ­ees for doing the paper­work ahead of time. 

3. Provide a Clear and Consistent Orientation

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The HR team and super­vi­sors should spend time curat­ing an onboard­ing process for all new hires. There should nev­er be a moment where the new employ­ee is won­der­ing what they should be doing.

The onboard­ing process needs to include review­ing com­pa­ny val­ues, cul­ture and respon­si­bil­i­ties. It needs to include con­sis­tent mes­sag­ing from all peo­ple and mate­ri­als, and it needs to be con­sis­tent from employ­ee to employ­ee. Stream­lin­ing the ori­en­ta­tion process helps make it a uni­form process for everyone.

The ori­en­ta­tion process should have des­ig­nat­ed points that extend beyond the first day, such as check-ins every cou­ple of weeks. Many com­pa­nies also pro­vide long-term men­tors for new hires, which is an excel­lent way of help­ing new employ­ees get adjust­ed. Employ­ers need to be sure that the new men­tors are enthu­si­as­tic and con­sis­tent with com­pa­ny mes­sag­ing and expectations. 

4. Allow for Introductions

Get­ting to know the team is one of the most crit­i­cal aspects of suc­cess­ful new employ­ee onboard­ing. Com­pa­nies should con­sid­er ditch­ing the imper­son­al (and often uncom­fort­able) all-employ­ees meet­ing where every­one gath­ers at one time to meet the new hire(s). It can be over­whelm­ing and doesn’t real­ly allow the per­son to get to know their new teammates.

Instead, super­vi­sors should con­sid­er allow­ing new employ­ees to spend around fif­teen min­utes with each co-work­er they’ll be work­ing with. It shouldn’t be about shad­ow­ing the per­son, but instead a one-on-one get­ting to know you” ses­sion. It’s also essen­tial to ensure that all new employ­ees meet with all their super­vi­sors with­in the first week to talk about long-term goals, expec­ta­tions, career devel­op­ment and more.

It can also be help­ful to cre­ate a chart of every co-work­er and super­vi­sor, includ­ing their name and role for the new per­son to keep at their desk. This takes the bur­den of learn­ing everyone’s name off the table.

5. Spend Time Going Over Benefits

Around 13 of all employ­ees don’t under­stand their ben­e­fits pack­ages. Today’s con­sci­en­tious employ­ers put a lot of thought into their ben­e­fits pack­ages, but if the employ­ees don’t know how to use them, they will not be beneficial.

Com­pa­nies should spend time going over all ben­e­fits in the first week of ori­en­ta­tion so that employ­ees know exact­ly what ben­e­fits their employ­er pro­vides. Too often, HR depart­ments just hand out pack­ets and hope the employ­ees read them. Instead, orga­ni­za­tions should sit down with new hires and go over the tra­di­tion­al ben­e­fits at length, so the employ­ees nev­er have to wonder. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, to real­ly win over new hires and help con­tribute to their present and long-term well-being, com­pa­nies should con­sid­er offer­ing com­pre­hen­sive lifestyle ben­e­fits in addi­tion to tra­di­tion­al benefits.

The Fringe Ben­e­fits plat­form allows employ­ees to choose the ben­e­fits that enhance their lives today. With over 100 dif­fer­ent options, employ­ees can use their points to cus­tomize their lifestyle ben­e­fits packages.

Sched­ule a free Fringe demo today!