Starting a new job can be stressful, so as a leader, it’s crucial to make sure that your new hires feel welcome and supported from the very beginning. Here, 12 Young Entrepreneur Council members share onboarding strategies that leaders can use to ensure new employees feel welcome and that they get off to a successful start.
Most people are familiar with the blend of anticipation and anxiety that comes with the first day at a new job. What’s one strategy you use to ensure a new hire feels welcome on day one?
1. Host an office get-together
We love making new hires feel welcome with an office get-together. Ditch the ice-breaker questions where you have to come up with something clever on the spot instead of just being yourself. You hired this person because you loved their work and felt good about their personality. Remind them that if they seem anxious, and let the relationships build naturally from there. —Kaitleen Shee, GROW
2. Do something active together
We have two methods that prove the most effective in breaking the ice: each new hire has the opportunity to join a fellow coworker on a bike ride, and each new hire answers our three questions, which then get posted in a visible spot in our office. The questions are: 1. What major experiences do you want to have in your life? 2. How do you want to grow? 3. How do you want to contribute to the world? —Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery
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3. Offer guidance
Each new team member is onboarded with as much warmth as possible by HR, directors (individually), and their team members in their specific departments. All final interviews are with me (as president of the company), so I get to meet them even before they are officially welcomed on board. This gives me the chance to express that my door is also always open, should they need anything from me. —Magnus Simonarson, Consultwebs
4. Onboard before the first day
Get as much of the onboarding work done before day one so that your new hire can hit the ground running right away. You might say this is selfish, and it certainly will improve productivity at the margins, but it also ensures your new hire doesn’t start off on the wrong foot, confused, and maybe even overwhelmed by all the HR tasks before them while they’re on the clock. —Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
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5. Provide thorough information
I find that when people know what to expect, it helps stave off anxiety. I provide a detailed onboarding process before the employee’s first day that includes a thorough explanation of their role, expectations, and the company culture. I also make sure to schedule regular check-ins throughout the onboarding process to ensure they are comfortable, and answer any questions they may have. —Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage
6. Design a comprehensive onboarding schedule
To ensure a new hire feels welcome and gets off to a successful start, we have an onboarding process that covers both practical and emotional aspects of the transition. We have an orientation schedule with a designated point of contact or mentor. We also provide access to relevant resources and connect new hires with at least one of our employees. This approach helps the new hire feel prepared and supported. —Kazi Mamun, CANSOFT
7. Pair new hires with seasoned coworkers
One strategy to ensure that new hires feel welcome and get off to a successful start is assigning them a buddy. A work buddy can help new recruits get acquainted with the company’s culture and cater to their questions in their time of need. Work buddies act as mentors for new recruits, helping them channel their energy in the right direction while making them feel at home. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
8. Use Slack to give a shout-out
When a new hire joins the company, we ensure that the entire team gives them a warm welcome in our Slack family channel. As a remote company, we don’t get to meet each other every day, but that doesn’t stop the team from welcoming our new members. We believe that them seeing all the warm messages is a great start for the new hires. It makes them feel welcomed and comfortable right from day one. —Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
About the Author
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs.