How to Make Onboarding Easy

By: Lauren Mineau

A new employee shakes up the office culture in many ways. For the employee, it’s getting used to a new space, new job and new people. For those who are already there, it’s acclimating someone new, perhaps training them, or showing them the ropes.

There are many ways to make a new employee feel welcome. By doing so, they’ll transition more smoothly and feel comfortable faster than letting them fend for themselves. Here are a few ways to ensure success from day one.

Make Their Space

Make sure their desk is clean, set up and stocked with the basics: pens, paper, some tissues or napkins and perhaps a company coffee mug or water bottle. The first day is a lot to take in for someone new, so making sure they have a place to take notes is immediately helpful.

If it’s possible, have computer equipment ready and alert your IT department when new people are starting, so they can make time to be available for questions or setup.

The Buddy System

Assign the new hire an “onboarding buddy” or mentor. If possible, make it someone who knows the ins and outs of the company so they can go to them with questions and ensure they’ll be pointed in the right direction. Have that person schedule some time for the new employee and to follow up after a few weeks.

Calling HR

In addition to the job tasks of a new hire, set aside meeting time with the human resources department. Most likely, the new employee will appreciate details of insurance offerings, company holidays and time off policies and other workplace culture questions.

Announce Their Arrival

Consider a companywide email welcoming the new employee. People in other departments will likely see the new hire around and wonder who they are. A short email with a little about who they are, where they came from and if the office allows — where they sit — can help. People are likely to introduce themselves if they already know a bit about the person.

Let’s Do Lunch

Make an effort to get to know who the employee is outside of the workplace. Take them to lunch or coffee and find out the basics, where they are from, family life etc. Share the same about you too. New employees feel comfortable when their new colleagues humanize themselves.

The onboarding process can be tricky. But most of all, treat your new employee the way you’d want to be treated on your first day. It’s always going to be overwhelming, but there are many ways to make the process go more smoothly.