9 Ways to Successfully Welcome and Onboard New Employees

New employees coming into an office for the first time can feel remarkably out of place. Company cultures and expectations can vary wildly between organizations, and job duties may have a lot of small details that can’t be conveyed with a simple PDF or Google Doc.

But helping new workers feel comfortable, as well as conveying what’s expected of them, is vital. Without this, employees may end up struggling or feeling disconnected, which can easily result in them leaving for a new job. Learn how to get your new people better settled in and engaged with these simple tips.

Q. What is one good approach to make sure new employees feel welcome during their onboarding?

1. Schedule onboarding over a month

No matter how detailed your transition documents, or how many one-on-ones you set up, no one can truly understand a business during their first week. Treat onboarding as a month-long (or quarter-long!) process. Lunches, one-on-ones, and group discussions are great. But have them again a few weeks later, and again after that. If you think about employees as years-long teammates, an extra few weeks is a small investment.

2. Give a proper introduction

If you want an employee to feel welcome, it helps to give a proper introduction to your existing team members. If you operate a remote company, you can post the introduction in the team chat. Those who work in an office can have a more traditional introduction in front of the rest of your team.

3. Organize a welcome party

When a new team member joins the staff,  have a welcome party for the whole company. The events vary—they can be a catered lunch, ice cream, or even just a meeting where the whole firm gets together to welcome the new team member on their first day. These options can be helpful in welcoming new employees and building a team atmosphere.

4. Use the buddy system

When you bring someone new onto the team, partner them with someone in the office. This partner is their buddy for the week. They are responsible for introducing them to everyone, being there when they have questions, and making sure they feel settled in. This usually makes the new employee feel comfortable while also giving them an ally from day one.

5. Assign them a mentor

Mentors are like diamonds in the business world. Anyone can be a mentor, provided they are willing to guide others. When a new person starts, they may feel nervous about learning new procedures. Assigning them a more experienced coworker gives them someone who can show them the ropes, and the mentor feels good they have been trusted with this task. It’s a win-win situation that fosters teamwork in the long run.

6. Encourage senior leadership to greet new employees

During the onboarding process, companies should engage senior leadership to personally welcome and greet new employees. A small gesture can go a long way. New hires will feel more invested in the company and will more quickly feel like part of the team.

7. Have them shadow the team

Get your new hires to shadow a couple of people from different departments in their first week, even if it’s not directly related to their position. Lunches and parties are great, but one or two meaningful connections will make a bigger difference. This helps them to build deeper, personal connections with a few people while also understanding the bigger picture of the company and its vision.

8. Address what they’re afraid to ask

To make new hires feel welcome during their onboarding, be sure to address all the topics they may be afraid to ask about. For instance, tell them everything they need to know about compensation, benefits, and any other amenities you offer. Being open regarding these sensitive topics will make them feel like a true part of the team, and they’ll feel more comfortable in their new position.

9. Express genuine interest

It’s important to express enthusiasm when hiring new employees so they feel more welcome as part of the team. If everyone’s attitude is just so-so or nonchalant about onboarding, then the experience itself lacks a feeling of genuine welcome. Make sure everyone on the team is excited for new members to come on board, as this is essential to making everyone feel welcome.

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