Bringing on a brand new employee is often both exciting and anxiety-provoking. Here’s a new player, someone who can potentially take your business to a new level. But will they stay? Will they like it? Will they work out?
Alleviate some of that anxiety by doing everything you can to set your newbies up for success. Here’s how.
Let a new employee know how excited you are to have them on board. Welcome them enthusiastically, and take them out for lunch on their first day. Set up some team celebration time, too -- whether that’s a welcome coffee or short meet-and-greet on the first day.
Have all your ducks in a row.
Ease the anxiety of the new routine by having a clear plan for how day one and week one should go. That means having all the new hire paperwork ready, a training plan plotted, and all needed materials gathered so that a new employee can hit the ground running. If you are organized, your employee is less likely to encounter thumb-twiddling downtime, wherein they wonder if they should be doing something different.
Plan some immediate team-building time.
No, this doesn’t have to be awkward trust falls. This could be a team happy hour, breakfast, or merely a couple of hours in the office working on a team project that lets you all chat a bit. Alternatively, have a member or two of your team take your new hire to lunch every day of the first week. That’ll give the newbie some time to get to know everyone they’re working with, and begin to forge relationships that help them settle into their new workplace.
Set clear expectations for the first 30, 60, and 90 days.
Every employee wants to know how to succeed -- and a new hire should know how to do this in their three-month ramp-up period. Lay out expectations as clearly as you can -- even boiling down accomplishments into a checklist, if possible. Skills should build on each other, and the plan should give your trainee a sense that they’re moving forward successfully. This is also a good way for you to know if your new hire is progressing as planned -- and areas of improvement you might need to address.
WEEK 2 AND BEYOND
Plan time for frequent feedback.
Most people don’t like to be thrown in the deep end and told to swim -- they want to know if they’re measuring up to expectations. As your employee ramps up, plan frequent one-on-one feedback sessions to discuss their progress and next steps. As their confidence builds, you can taper these back -- but know, too, that continuous feedback helps employees feel like they’re continuing to grow, so don’t wait for an annual review to discuss objectives and performance.
Continue to facilitate team time.
There’s an old adage that people don’t quit companies, they quit people. You can safeguard against this by fostering good camaraderie among your team and encouraging continued bonding. Maybe you bring in lunch once a week, and give everyone a break. Maybe it’s a regular trip to a coffee shop. Whatever works for your business that allows your team to chat about non-work pursuits works great.
Find ways to celebrate wins, big and small. Sometimes that means toasting a promotion. Sometimes it means calling out someone’s good performance publically. Celebrating the things that make business work makes employees feel like they’re valuable -- so don’t forget to do it.