Starting a new job isn’t always easy: whether you are introverted or not, it’s normal to initially feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole experience of a new job. You may encounter cultural differences, uncooperative colleagues, new technologies or simply different work rhythms than the ones you are used to.
The Onboarding period, which is the process that starts immediately after one’s employment, is a delicate time and can make a real difference in a career path.
The company’s strategy for welcoming a new employee must be consistent with its values, inclusive and, why not, even a little creative. It must create a peaceful atmosphere and quickly establish a strong sense of belonging in the new team member.
Here are 5 ideas for a successful onboarding.
1. Plan an office tour
Getting to know the work environment is the first step to feeling comfortable. In the first week of onboarding plan a tour of the offices and all common areas, introducing the newcomer to his/her new colleagues in each department as you go. This activity also represents a good opportunity to talk about the company and its history, the day to day work routine and much more.
2. Prepare a welcome kit
The welcome kit, also called company swag, is an increasingly common practice especially among Silicon Valley companies and start-ups.
This type of strategy also has a further benefit: new interested parties will be incentivised to share photos of the kit on their social networks, thus creating media content useful to the company itself for its marketing and communication activities.
3. Create a buddy program
Assign a “buddy” to the newcomer from the start: this role should be given to a person with more company experience, that doesn’t necessarily have to become a mentor. His or her role will be that of a simple guide to the company’s internal dynamics, helping new colleagues to better understand the company culture, get to know their colleagues quickly and find their way – literally – around the office.
In medium to large companies, pairing newcomers with people from other teams and departments is often exploited: this method allows the creation of inter-disciplinary connections, which will support the flow of transversal knowledge and skills.
4. Organise an informal introduction moment
On the first day at work “pamper” the new employee a little: a simple coffee with the team (at the vending machine or in the nearest café) can make the new employee feel at ease.
Socialising with colleagues in this way will avoid embarrassment and make getting to know each other more natural.
5. Organise a team building activity
This point is useful at any time of the year, even for teams with years of history behind them. Sports activities stand out as one of the most effective strategies: they promote collaboration, foster trust and create healthy competition, while being a healthy activity all round!
Onboarding must be studied, planned and improved over time, following the canons of inclusiveness. A happy and integrated new employee is the company’s first brand ambassador!