A couple of days back we celebrated my son’s birthday. It seemed not too long ago when my wife and I were picking up a pram to welcome our newborn home… and here we were now buying a 6-gear bicycle for his sixth birthday! Amazing how time had flown by in a jiffy!
As my wife was checking off items on the to-do list for his birthday party, my thoughts went back to the day we were making the shopping list for the soon-to-be-born baby. We had meticulously broken down the items into various categories – stuff required for the baby’s clothing, feeding, bath, nursery, transportation, etc. We wanted to be completely prepared to receive the new member in the family and ensure that the baby was comfortable right from the moment it stepped into our lives.
Is this situation not uncannily similar to a new employee joining our organization? So are we always as well prepared to receive a new employee and ensure that the new entrant feels comfortable right from day one?
Here are five simple things that an organization of any size could do to help make its new employee feel welcome on his/her first day at work:
1. Ensure existing staff are aware of the new employee coming onboard so that the new person doesn't feel like a stranger on arrival.
2. Have the new employee's workspace ready - including furniture, computer hardware/software, phone, email, business cards, office supplies, login id, access key/card to office, etc.
3. Assign a person to introduce the new employee to co-workers and give a brief tour of the department/office (washroom, pantry/kitchen, vending machine, meeting room, etc).
4. Identify a coach/mentor to help the new employee with work-related processes and procedures.
5. Arrange a welcome lunch for the new employee.
A new employee is like a new member of our family. And as leaders, it is our duty to go the extra mile to make the person feel that s/he belongs!