How to Welcome a New Employee to Your Team

Guest Blogger
How to Welcome a New Employee to Your Team

No organization can prosper and thrive without having dedicated, highly motivated, and knowledgeable employees. Unfortunately, finding, attracting, and retaining the right candidates is not always easy. Companies have to actively look for suitable job seekers to fill their open positions, and often the first impression an employer leaves on a person is the deciding factor in whether they will choose to come on board or not.

Utilizing a background check can be an invaluable tool when it comes to identifying the perfect candidate for the job. At the same time, however, there are multiple Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks myths floating around. For example, people are afraid that they might not pass a DBS check, but that is not the point this check. It simply shows if an individual has a criminal record, caution, warning, or conviction.

Furthermore, unless they are applying for a regulated position such as working with children or vulnerable adults, the candidates may not be automatically disqualified even if they do not have a spotless criminal record. Details such as what exactly the offence was, when it happened, and if it is related to the job position matter a lot. From a company standpoint, performing DBS checks may not always be legally required, but it should be viewed as a best practice procedure with meaningful benefits.


Finding the Right Employee

Before anyone becomes a valuable employee, they are just a potential candidate that seems like they could be a good fit for the specific position. As such, the importance of a company's ability to reach out and find high-quality candidates cannot be understated. There are numerous online resources that could help you identify potential future employees, but you should also explore the existing real-world opportunities.

Establishing your company's presence at job fairs, industry conferences, and other networking events could give you access to both entry-level but eager to learn and prove themselves candidates, as well as established industry experts who may be looking for a new challenge to test their skills. You shouldn't be afraid to give an inexperienced or freshly-graduated person a chance. With sufficient internal education, you can cultivate them into a professional who believes in your company and its mission.


Welcoming a New Employee

Getting a new employee on board is a prolonged process that every company should strive to get right. After all, it is not enough to get the chosen candidate to sign the necessary papers and then introduce them with a company-wide announcement.

The first impressions you leave on new employees could be the reason they would like to stick around and help the company grow or, alternatively, push them out to look for better opportunities elsewhere. That is why setting up the best possible environment for the new hire to quickly and effortlessly integrate into their team and the company as a whole is crucial.


Before the Start Date

As a company, you should have a plan on how to proceed with integrating new employees from the moment they hand in their job papers. The first step would generally be to call them shortly after receiving the documents to express your enthusiasm and general excitement that they have chosen your company as their new place of employment. Ideally, the call would be made by either the hiring manager or the new employee's direct supervisor.

Afterward, provide them with access to any relevant benefits information, other related documents, and the company's employee handbook as soon as possible. This way, the person will have sufficient time to go over the information and formulate any questions or uncertainties that they may have. These actions will be the first steps towards building a solid trusting relationship with the employee.

Schedule an official company welcome letter to be sent by your HR department. The letter should contain necessary details such as the employee's start date, start time, if any dress code should be followed, the schedule for the first day, etc. If your company has a mentorship program, the letter should also mention the mentor assigned to the employee. Keep in mind that the chosen mentor should be a more experienced company employee that is not a direct supervisor or manager of the new hire.


Prepare for the Employee's First Day

All preparations for the employee's first day at their new job should be done before their arrival. Any potential issues or unintended oversights could sour the employee's attitude towards the company from their very first day there.

Some examples of things to avoid are scheduling the person to begin work while their direct boss is out of the office for several days or on holiday, failure to properly prepare the new employee's work area and then being forced to get things in order right in front of them, or leaving them alone in an unfamiliar environment for prolonged periods of time. After all, having everything ready on time shows that you respect the new hire and the work they will do for the company.

Create a checklist for the items that the new employee could require during their first days. Start with the essentials such as their assigned computer system or laptop, the software products they would need to do their job properly, a dedicated desk, cubicle, or office space, their corporate email and other internal credentials, etc. Make sure that an existing employee is assigned to go over the list and check if every item is in place and ready.

Finally, as a company, you may wish to show a bit of warmth and personal touch by decorating the new employee's workspace. Greeting cards from their colleagues, a welcome sign, some company-branded items such as a mug, notepad, pen, t-shirt, or anything that would make them feel like a welcomed part of the team would be greatly appreciated. This will also showcase your company culture and the positive office atmosphere that you should be trying to nurture.


What To Do on Day One?

The worst way to start a new hire's career at your company is by filling their very first day with nothing but endless paperwork and boring HR meetings. Instead, focus on occupying their time with meeting their new team and people from other departments interspersed with other onboarding activities.

Set aside plenty of time for one-on-one conversations with their new boss as well as their company mentor. Consider that the employee's first day should be dedicated solely to forming the initial bonds between them, their colleagues, and the company as a whole.

Put an onboarding schedule in place that takes into account the person's needs and aptitudes. Also, consider portioning out the onboarding activities across multiple days or potentially weeks leaving time each day for the employee to work independently and start feeling productive from as early on as possible.

Another good approach would be to schedule their lunches for at least the first week so that there is always a coworker available to accompany them. The employee's manager or mentor should also try to join these lunches as often as possible until the new person feels comfortable and establishes their place in the company.


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About the Author: George Griffiths is the managing director of uCheck DBS Checks. In 2013, George came on board full time with the goal of working together to create a fluid and successful business development structure. His focus for the future is to drive the development of the uCheck HR Platform and continue to align his way of working with their mission statement - to always care about getting it right. 

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