There’s usually an element of discomfort the first day on a new job. Managers can do a number of things to make the adjustment easier. Done right, helping new hires transition smoothly will engage them faster and make them more productive sooner. Try following these three tips.
Be welcoming. As the manager, you set the tone for your department. Make a good impression by presenting a positive atmosphere.
- Have the new hire’s workspace ready with all necessary supplies.
- Tell employees when the person is starting and what job they will be performing. Ask for their help in making the new employee feel welcome.
- When the new hire arrives, walk him/her around the office and make introductions.
- Ease the first day jitters by arranging for lunch with you and/or others.
- You may want to assign a mentor to do such things as show them the location of restrooms, lunch/break rooms and/or provide basic training. If you do, make sure the mentor knows what’s expected of them.
Focus on their responsibilities. Help your new hire do a good job for you by clearly explaining their responsibilities.
- Provide written objectives that include expected deliverables.
- Make time to answer questions and schedule regular meetings with them.
- Include checkpoints to assess performance and obtain feedback on how the employee perceives things are going, making adjustments as necessary.
- For entry-level employees, provide an easy to understand overview of the business that includes how the new employee’s job fits in with the organization. For senior level employees, provide a list of key people to meet. In some cases, it might also be appropriate to provide a suggested list of questions or topics to discuss.
Clarify expectations in terms of culture and protocols. Job responsibilities are only one component to employees’ success. Fitting in with the organizational culture and following established protocols are also important.
- If there are any unwritten rules that should be followed, explain them.
- Make sure the individual is clear about their start/end and break/lunch times.
- If there are meetings the individual is expected to attend, provide the schedule and location.
- Review any policies that would affect the individual such as dress code, parking, etc.
Do everything you can to help new employees understand the organization, people they should meet, their responsibilities and how they fit in. Everyone will benefit from these proactive measures, including you.