Whether you own your own business or manage a small team, when a new employee starts work you want to make sure you get the very best performance from them possible. In any new job, there is always a period of adjustment as the employee settles in to the new environment and existing team members begin to build a relationship with their new colleague.
Often, its during or just after this initial adjustment period that issues can arise. New employees can feel unsure of expectations or where they belong in an organisation, so its important they are given plenty of information and support when they commence work, without overwhelming them with a barrage of heavy reading.
We’ve consulted our HR specialists to put together a short list of things worth considering when you have a new staff member join the team.
Top tips for new employees at work
1. Have everything ready to go
Does your new hire have everything they need to get started straight away? Desk, computer, mobile phone, business cards, building pass all these things need to be arranged well in advance so the employee doesn’t feel like an unexpected imposition on the rest of the team. When working for a big organisation, often these things are taken care of after a few forms have been filled out. If you work for a small organisation, you may have to do it yourself. Its definitely worth having it done before the new employee starts so they don’t feel even more lost and immediately wonder if they’ve joined an unorganised workplace. Remember, even though they are likely on three months probation, they’re also trying your organisation on for size and ideally you want to make your recruitment spend worthwhile by encouraging them to stay and be productive.
2. Make sure the employee has a tour guide
There is nothing worse than starting somewhere new and being thrown in the deep end straight away. Make sure a new employee has someone to show them around, introduce them to other staff, clients and suppliers to avoid a very awkward first few days.
3. Plan lunch breaks
Knowing whether you belong professionally is one thing, but feeling accepted and fitting in socially can be even more daunting to someone new. Instead of feeling like they have to eat alone, set up a range of informal lunchtime chats with key members of the team in the first few days. This not only prevents lonely lunch breaks, but also allows relationships to start to form within your team.
4. Set expectations clearly and early
How do you expect employees to behave? Is it possible the actions outside of work could have an impact on your business? Is there any team etiquette they should know about? The expectations you have as an employer need to be set clearly from the very beginning. This means having up-to-date policies and procedures regarding drugs and alcohol (check out our work page for guidelines on developing clear policies), social media, bullying and harassment, even how the kitchen cleaning roster works. Make sure the new employee understands and agrees to what has been outlined for them.
5. Cut the jargon
Every organisation has its own set of acronyms and unique terms they use daily. Create a small list for your new hire with explanations in plain English for each word or phrase. This will help them make sense of the new environment and make them feel like less of an outsider.
6. If you re not always available
Make sure someone they can rely on is around to help out and answer questions. Its important new employees feel they have someone they can go to ask questions and seek help if they need it.
Remember to keep checking in on the new starter, just to see how they are settling in. Sometimes a new hire just doesn’t work out for any number of reasons. It s important you prepare and equip every new employee so they have the best chance possible to feel a part of their new organisation, after all, recruitment is an expensive and time-consuming process!