When a person joins the company it means change for both current and new employees. There is the need to reassure the current and support the new one.
First impressions are lasting ones. Here are some ideas to ensure a smooth integration. Make sure that there is a person responsible in introducing the new employee(s) through a formal orientation program, to the different departments and to the new job.
1. Start with a Formal Orientation
A general formal orientation program should include information about company history, organisational structure, and functions of various departments, company products or services, and employee benefits. This background gives the new employee a basic overview of policies and procedures, and shows him/her how the company views itself and how it wishes to be regarded by the surrounding community of customers, suppliers and competitors. Convey excitement, not just information… Corporate culture needs to communicated and demonstrated throughout the entire orientation.
2. Follow-up by a Personalised Orientation
– Introduce him/her to the people he/she will be working with – be sure to include names, titles and job functions. Explain what the new employee will be doing for the organisation.
– Give him/her a tour of the office and make sure he/she knows where the rest rooms, cafeteria, your office, and other important areas are located.
– Offer tips on restaurants, drug stores and dry cleaners in the area.
– Spell out exactly what is expected of him/her – the time he/she is expected to arrive, where he/she should park, amount of time allotted for lunch breaks, standard quitting time, whether or not overtime work is paid, whom he/she should call when sick.
– Assign a buddy – someone he/she can turn to with questions or concerns about the company. This person should be a knowledgeable employee who is very approachable.
– Give him/her simple assignments to start working on. Don’t give him/her a difficult task on the first day. Yet the work should be useful so he/she feels a sense of accomplishment and is prepared for more difficult assignments.
– Get participation and support from all current employees… The new person should not only feel welcome only during the organised orientation but also throughout the entire period. Everyone has a part to play.
Your goal is to build self-confidence and a positive attitude.
In making it more interesting and to give everyone an enjoyable experience in getting to know one another, why not:
– Have a night-out with an informal drink session after working hours. You can try negotiating with your company to budget part of this cost as a recruiting expense.
– Organise recreational activities to build team spirit and facilitate integration. Beach volleyball matches, etc…
– Create a homepage for welcoming new employees on the intranet or internet system.
– During the informal orientation, cater some finger food and drinks to motivate current employees to attend the session and this can be an opportunity for interesting conversations.
– Prepare a welcoming gift – there is a wide selection of what you can give, from company mugs in different shapes and sizes, to stationery items, sports gear, etc… Choose something that goes with your corporate culture and reflects the company values. The gift can also reinforce your corporate identity within the employees.