The first day at work may not just be the first day at office, but all things new, holding great promise for your new hire. Whilst the new employee views the new setting with great excitement, it is most often not reciprocated from the employer. How do you jump in and seize the energy and excitement of a new hire. How can we leverage this start of many things new?

Here are a few tips on how to welcome a new hire.

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare

Prepare for the big day, well ahead of time. As soon as the new hire accepts the offer, preparations can start. Paperwork can be done electronically, at the comfort of their homes. Let them in on what to expect on the first day and a career at your organization. Send them an employee portal link, invite them to employee group portals. Nothing zaps out energy on the first day as spending hours filling paperwork. At the office, prepare their work station, and their teams for the new arrival.

  • Go beyond just the announcement

Onboarding is more than just a welcome. It’s setting up the new hire to succeed, and thereby meeting your team and organization goals. It’s good to announce the new hire details, as well as their background history. But it is more important to integrate the employee into the company culture and systems. Prepare an onboarding schedule , not just for day one but for a 30,60 or 90 day period. Organize activities that help the new hire get talking with people from different teams. Plan casual meetings outside the office to get team members to know the new hire better.

  • Communicate & Connect

Let the new hire know of an open door policy with HR. Let them feel comfortable enough to walk in with any of their queries and concerns. Managers help new hires to start contributing early by communicating personal and team goals. Review their progress periodically. Encourage and motivate them to stay on track. This helps the team to meet goals and reduces lag times with regard to new hires.

  • Get the ball rolling

Let the new employee start on their work at the earliest. Don’t make them hang around till everyone has time for them. Let them know what they are here to, and how to do it. It’s important to communicate what will be rewarded, and how it will be rewarded. New hires contribute quicker when they know what results get measured and who measures it.
Recognize their skill gaps and assign trainers and mentors. Don’t expect your new hire to figure it out on their own.

  • Make it personal

Nothing works as well as customizing and making the onboarding process personal. A personalized letter or a gift can go a long way in making the new hire feel welcome. Decorate the office space with welcome paraphernalia. Keep the mood of things in sync with the work culture. Get the managers, and skip level bosses to address the new hire in person. Let your new hire not remain as a new face, but get people acquainted with his name and who he is. Freebies and company swag are always appreciated.
Be proactive and look for signs of doubt or lack of understanding in your new hires. Many new hires find it unnerving to lift their hands and ask for help. If you find a spot of concern, step in and fix the issue, communicate and redirect quickly. This lets the employee know that the manager and the team is there for them; and helps build a robust and healthy team.

  • Reward contributions

What helps sustain a robust onboarding process is not just keeping the new hire in focus, but all those connected to him. Recognize the efforts of managers, mentors , coaches and HR in this process. Reward them appropriately , and the talent management process becomes much easier.