How To Welcome a New Employee
Most often, we just take for granted employees coming in to
our offices for the first time. We give a distant smile, say welcome, and then
hope they figure it out on their own. We forget that we have established an
office culture that may just overwhelm many of the new ones coming in to join
There are three things to consider: the work to be done, the
culture in the office and our commitment as human beings to reach out to
newcomers and make them feel welcome. Here are a few steps to ensure they will
feel welcome to your office:
- Make an announcement. This can be done
either in the bulletin board or office memo informing employees of the new
person and the job this person is going to have in the office. If the
office has a large number of employees, then informs at least those within
the department that the person is going to join.
- Ask one of the receptionists to welcome the new
employee. The reception people are usually pleasant as that is
expected of their job. This includes bringing the new employee on a
familiarization tour of the office and introducing him/her to the other
employees who happen to be around while they walk about – not necessarily
everyone, as this can also be overwhelming. Also, this would include
introducing him/her to the CEO and passing the person on to the immediate
- Ask your CEO to make time for the new employee.
In a small organization, a five minute call on the CEO, the Chief, would
be a positive experience and would tell the new employee of the value the
organization gives to each person. In a big organization, the Department
head would suffice.
- Orient the person on the work to be done.
The immediate supervisor of this new employee will be the best person to
show how the work is to be done, how it is connected to the work of others
in the department, what performance standards are expected of employees in
the organization, and what procedures are followed in the office for
routine tasks such as printing, delivery, phone calls and others.
- Give the new employee enough information to
survive the first day. The rest can be learned from the manuals.
If there is no manual, the immediate supervisor can schedule a regular
time each day within the first week to continue the orientation. A person
can only absorb so much at a certain time, and the schedule will enable
the supervisor to have a sense of how the employee is adjusting to the
work and to the office environment.
- Give the person time to absorb the newness of the
job and the office. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming when so
many office colleagues talk to a new employee, while all he/she wants is to
get to work.
- Be extra sensitive to the new employee’s needs in
the first week. While you give the person space to start, watch
out when he/she seems lost and needs some help. Often, he/she may be embarrassed
to ask so when you see the predicament, offer your help.
- Talk with the new employee during lunch or coffee
breaks. How often do you see new employees eating alone? No one
really cares. “In our office, we care.” This is the message you want to
- Be prepared to listen. Be there to answer
a new employee’s questions or listen when she needs to just process the
- Walk around the office with him/her and introduce him/her
to your friends as someone you value.
As each employee tries to do this, the new employees will
find it easy to get into their work and will soon be doing the same to the
other new employees. Then, the transition will no longer be difficult but will
even be enjoyable. And guess what? You’ll probably make some new friends too!
This article is written by Mary Norton. Mary is an Organization Development Specialist working internationally on development projects.
The article source is How To Welcome a New Employee.