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Easy onboarding tips to make new employees feel welcome

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Starting a new job can be both exciting and nerve‑wracking. Getting off on the right foot with your new employees will jump‑start your relationship and increase engagement over the long run.

The vast majority of employees (90%) decide to stay or leave a company within their first year, according to a 2013 Aberdeen Group research on onboarding practices at 230 organizations.

Your new employee orientation program should introduce new recruits to your company’s culture, policies and procedures. It should also help your new hires to get to know colleagues and make work contacts.

Here are a few low‑cost tips for successfully onboarding your new hires:

Prepare the onboarding before the first day of work

Effective orientation programs start before the actual date the new employee starts work.

Provide a contact person the future employee can reach before starting his or her new job. Prepare a work station, set up an email address and assign a phone number.

Make your new employees feel welcome on their first day

Make sure new employees are welcomed by someone on their first day. This person should walk the new arrival around, introducing them to colleagues and showing them your place of business. Ideally, this person is the direct supervisor of the new employee.

Prepare a welcome kit and orientation session

It’s a good idea to put together an information package that includes material on company employment policies, benefits and answers to frequently asked questions.

Depending on your size and level of organization, you may also want to offer a one or two-day information session to new employees. The purpose is to present the company, including your senior management, vision, mission and strategic plan.

Get the “must-do’s” out of the way

Review the general terms of employment, any forms that need to be signed and key policies the new employees need to know, such as when pay day is.

Assign a coach or mentor

All new employees need to have a go‑to person if they have questions or concerns. In most cases, this is the direct manager.

Focus on creating an environment where new employees can build strong relationships with their colleagues.

Get your existing employees onboard

An orientation plan must be well thought through, organized and not seen as being intrusive by other members of the team. It needs to be a part of the ongoing culture of the organization and supported by senior management.

Make it clear where the new hire fits

Great organizations succeed at attracting and keeping great people partly because they make it clear from day one what their strategic vision is and how the new employee can contribute to achieving it.

Don’t stop after the first day

Effective onboarding programs are long‑term projects and can take anywhere from three and twelve months.

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