At one time or another, many companies have struggled with employee satisfaction and retention. It is all too easy to focus on the goals of production and the needs of the client, leaving employees to feel undervalued and unmotivated. Without setting priorities to cultivate a healthy work environment for your staff, it is likely that your company will also face difficulty in retaining satisfied employees.
The positive environment you create for your employees should start on their very first day in your office, if not sooner. From the moment your offer for hire is accepted, your new employee should feel like a valued member of the team. In order to make each new hire feel welcome and comfortable in their new environment, it’s important to prepare a positive onboarding experience.
Before Their First Day
The interaction you have with your new employees prior to their first day in the office sets the tone for the working relationship you will have. Set them up for success by providing them with the tools to assimilate into the company culture seamlessly. Doing so will prevent a disturbance in the flow of your office and will also give them an opportunity to thrive from day one. It’s in the best interest of the company to ensure that each new hire is fully prepared to jump right into the role for which they’ve been hired as quickly as possible. Some ways to prepare and welcome your new employee are:
Communicate the agenda
Many new hires arrive for their first day of work feeling a bit of uncertainty, especially if the hiring staff has not provided adequate information about what’s expected of them. Initiate an open line of communication with your new hires that provides important details and encouragement to ask questions.
Set up the workspace
Nothing feels worse for a new hire than showing up to the job on day one and not having anywhere to sit or work. Demonstrate the value you place in your employees by taking the time to set up a workspace for your new hire before they even start in the office. It will make them feel welcome on their first day, and will also encourage them to get settled and ready to work.
Give them a welcome gift
A little gift goes a long way. A small plant, a coffee mug with the company logo, a gift card, or a little basket of goodies with a card signed by the team will make any new hire feel at home in the office.
During Week One
The first week is usually the hardest for new hires. It’s an unfamiliar environment with lots of names to remember, protocols to learn and schedules to which they have to adjust. Make the first week easier for your new employees by doing the following:
Give the tour
Show your new hires the lay of the land by personally showing them around the office and introducing them to their new coworkers. You can take it the extra mile and show them where to locate things like restrooms and vending machines around the building as well as handy need-to-knows about the building’s parking lot and nearby restaurants and shopping centers. Taking the time out of your schedule to do this first step yourself will go a long way to demonstrate how much you value each member of your team.
Plan an Orientation
There is a lot to learn in that first week, so don’t skip the orientation for new employees. Designate members of your current team to be part of the “welcome wagon” who can give the new employee the rundown on the company culture. It will give them a better understanding of what’s expected of them and their place within the company.
Set a managers’ meeting
If you are not going to be the person directly dealing with your new hire on a daily basis, set a meeting with the managers with whom they’ll be working most. It’s important for your new hire to establish relationships with team leaders so they feel comfortable asking questions and resolving any potential conflicts.
The most important work in making your new employees feel welcome takes place in the first two weeks. Ensure that your new hire is ready to thrive in the company culture by planning ahead for training, job shadowing and, most importantly, feedback. Schedule a review of their first 90 days, but also allow them to offer feedback on the experience as well. Business relationships are a two-way street. In order to increase employee retention and satisfaction, you must be willing to give as much as you hope to receive.
The onboarding module, built into iSolved, makes it easier to start the process of bringing on new hires. All information is stored in a single system and is accessible from anywhere, eliminating the stack of paperwork that many new employees must fill out on their first day. Contact us if you’d like to learn more!