How to make employees feel welcome when they join

Need a few quick onboarding tips? Melissa Sergeant has it covered.

Reading time: 3 minutes.

First impressions matter and a new job is a milestone for everyone. If you’re not made to feel welcome that stays with you and takes the positive sheen off that new role you’ve fought hard to land. There are some fundamentals that, surprisingly, lots of companies don’t do which can make a big difference and portray the business in a positive light.

Here are a handful of top tips employers can introduce to ensure their new recruits are made to feel welcome from the very start.

Prior to their arrival

Once a candidate has accepted a position, there’s likely to be period of time before they start with you as they serve out their notice period.

Make sure you communicate with them regularly during this time so they don’t feel forgotten. Keep them informed of any company developments and additional information about their new role so they can be fully prepared.

Don’t overload [new starters] with information but make them feel like they are contributing to your team’s success as soon as possible. 

In the week before they start, provide details such as what time they should come to the office and remind them of etiquette such as dress code. That way, come day one they will already feel part of the team and have a clear understanding of what to expect as they walk through the door.

First day orientation

It may sound obvious, but make sure the hiring manager (or an equivalent) is there to greet the new starter and have a map listing where people are sitting. Provide some level of orientation and induction such as giving the new starter a tour of the premises and the best coffee shops or lunch destinations in the local area.

It’s great to have a ritual created which the rest of the team can get on board with, such as an elevenses where the new joiner gets to meet their team informally, and provide some posh biscuits. A team lunch within the first week is also a great icebreaker.

Basics such as ensuring their building access pass is available, and all IT system access is setup for day one are crucial.

Implement a buddy system

Having a peer show the new person the office systems and run through the unwritten rules is really useful. Acting as their ‘buddy’ during the first week, they can take them around and introduce them to colleagues and key people they may interact with in the future, explaining roles and responsibilities along the way.

If they are a relevant new starter themselves, they can also act as a point of contact during the induction phase offering tips and guidance as well as being on hand to address any concerns the new recruit may have in a more informal way.

Plan for the first week

One of the most overwhelming aspects of a new job is getting your head around new roles and responsibilities.

Develop an onboarding schedule to bring people into the team in a structured way, this includes informal and formal meetings and training sessions. An onboarding/orientation checklist is a useful tool to ensure all aspects are taken care of ahead of time.

Don’t overload them with information but make them feel like they are contributing to your team’s success as soon as possible. Employees will settle in and learn their role much more quickly this way and it will help to maintain the high energy levels that naturally comes with starting a new job.

Doing these small things tells the new employee a lot about your organisation and division, and will encourage that person to carry that behaviour forward into their role, as part of the team’s culture.


About the author

Melissa Sergeant is managing director of Bishopsgate Financial



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