It’s always important to get new hires acclimated and productive as soon as possible, but the timeline is even more crucial for start-ups. With no resources to waste, a busy entrepreneur needs every team member firing on all cylinders. In this article, Jason Kulpa offers five easy ways to help new hires feel welcome and valued.
Don’t make a new hire stand around in awkward silence while you look for an open desk and hunt down Toby from HR to bring the onboarding paperwork. Get the ball rolling as soon as they accept the job.
Onboarding software can streamline the process. Whatever system you use, start engagement before the first official day on the job. Include an infographic or video highlighting company culture and core values with other onboarding materials to set a welcoming tone.
Assign a Mentor
The buddy system worked in first grade, and it’s still a good idea. Developing a one-on-one relationship with an officemate right away encourages communication and makes the workplace feel less intimidating. Another timeless tactic is for the mentor to invite the new hire to lunch on the first day. An overwhelmed employee may feel more comfortable asking questions in a social setting.
Give Them a Tour
Show your new employee where they can get a cup of coffee and where their immediate supervisor’s office is. Hit all the office highlights, including the closest bathroom. That is an excellent job for the boss to do. When higher-ups demonstrate simple things like finding a snack, it builds camaraderie and speaks to company culture. If the company owner is too busy for such a task, the mentor or an immediate supervisor may have the honors.
Explain the Day’s Schedule
The first days on a new job are filled with questions and anxiety. There’s a lot of what am I supposed to do now? Don’t leave a new employee hanging.Provide a clear rundown of the day’s expectations. They’ll feel more encouraged to jump in when they understand the rhythm of their new workplace. Even if they’re not ready to tackle a crucial task, sitting in on meetings or contributing to the team in some way will get the ball rolling.
Ask For Feedback—and Listen To It
During the new hire’s first days, take a few moments here and there to ask for feedback. Don’t sit in the boss’s office thinking feedback will filter its way to you. It won’t. Queries from the company owner, the immediate supervisor, or even the mentor are crucial. Ask pointed questions. Here are some examples: Do you have questions about your training? Did you have problems with the onboarding process? What could we do differently?
When a new hire makes suggestions that positively impact your training or work process, recognize their contribution. And remember, nothing discourages innovation more than asking for feedback then shooting down every idea that’s offered.
Taking the time to make a new hire feel welcome and comfortable may sound like hand-holding to some entrepreneurs. But it is a very effective tool for increasing productivity and employee retention.
About Jason Kulpa
Multi-year winner of the Great Place to Work award and serial entrepreneur Jason Kulpa believes in giving back to the community he loves. Under his leadership, Kulpa’s teams have hosted a gala dinner to benefit individuals with autism, cheered on Special Olympic athletes, and brought school supplies and cold-weather gear to students impacted by homelessness.
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