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Starting out: How to give your new staff the welcome they deserve

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Emma Gregory starting a new job, first day, New job...

Congratulations! That brand-spanking new employee has just walked through the door for their very first day in the office. As you breathe a sigh of relief, usher them to their new desk, thrust their computer log ins at them and hurry back to your own work, remember that these next few days will be the foundations of their career with you and you don’t want to leave them feeling like they’ve stepped out of the frying pan and in to the fire..

When anyone makes the decision to join a new company, it’s very rarely been on a whim. From the minute they tentatively send out their first CV, there will always be moments of doubt and “am I doing the right thing?” So when someone commits to leaving the security blanket of their current company, has left their colleagues and friends, their seniority and status… you need to make sure they are looked after from Day 1.  We thought it would be helpful to share some snippets of comments from candidates that we’ve heard over our many years in recruitment on what’s helped them settle in to a new company and what has made them hand their notice in without a second thought…

DO Give them your attention:  No matter who you hire or for what position, EVERYONE needs showing the ropes. And that means learning a new office layout, the lunch time protocol, where the toilets are, how to use the phone system etc. And they also have to learn a whole new office culture, gauge the environment, how people like to work.. and lets not forget a bunch of new names and faces! So take the first day or two at least to invest in the “house-keeping” side of the business, it will make them feel like they are getting to know the basics that will ultimately make them feel at ease.

DON’T leave them to their own devices too soon:  Of course you want someone who can hit the ground running. That’s why you hired them right? But whatever you do don’t assume that your way of working will be exactly the same as their previous job. Even if its essentially the same job, same system and same daily tasks – you have no idea what their previous employer based their success on. So make sure they understand your expectations from them on a daily basis from the get-go and keep checking they are managing it.

DO make them feel “part of the team”: This one goes a long way as to how happy someone starts to feel in a new role. No one likes being the new person, every day is an effort to try to get to know your new colleagues and it’s hard work.  Take some steps to help integrate them in to the team by organising a lunch on their first day with a couple of colleagues they’ll be working closely with. Try not to create a huge fanfare and invite the whole office, remember that a first day is overwhelming at best.  Walk them round the office introducing them to the different departments and locations. Email round to the everyone BEFORE they start to advise there will be a fresh face in the office and ask everyone to make them feel welcome. Get them a personalised mug, a small bunch of flowers of their desk, a “welcome to our company” card – anything that makes them know you care they are there.

DON’T be unrealistic in what you expect from them: In the first week or two you should be looking for signs the person is settling in comfortably, they have found their feet and you catch them chatting happily to colleagues. You should be looking for them to be asking you lots of questions, making notes, starting up their diary or to-do list. You want to see them starting to get to grips with the system, policies and procedures and completing initial tasks you have set them. Don’t overwhelm or overload them with targets, data or statistics, you will only succeed in making them feel pressured from the start.

DO have a get together at the end of each week for the duration of their probation. You haven’t employed them to fail and they haven’t taken a job that they only want to last 3 months. So  the probationary period should give both you the opportunity to air any concerns, for you to heap praise on them if they’re doing well and make sure they are happy with all aspects of the role. Don’t leave it until week 11 before you tell them you need them to pull their socks up, they will have gone all that time thinking they’re doing ok. Offering to check if they need additional training in any areas is important, a lot of people leave jobs because they don’t feel supported by management. And don’t forget to do the most important thing of all… MOTIVATE THEM. Express your delight at how well they’ve slotted in to the team, how quickly they’re starting to produce results and how you really admire their work ethic. Ending the week feeling like they’ve been noticed by their boss is a sure fire way to make someone want to come back Monday morning.

We hope you’ve found this useful, starting a new job is a big deal, some people only do it once every 10 years! So don’t waste all that time, energy and money you’ve put in to finding that perfect person to have them heading for the door before the ink is dry on their contract.

Urbanberry Recruitment specialise in recruiting for the Business Travel sector and if you have a vacancy you’d like to fill, please don’t hesitate to contact us on emma@urbanberry.co.uk or caroline@urbanberry.co.uk  . We’d be delighted to work with you!

Picture courtesy of Pixabay