Showing them where the coffee machine is and how to operate the copier is a fine start. But these days it takes a little more from a manager to help rookies get off the mark quickly.
Executive coach Maureen Moriarty suggests managers use a new-hire checklist to cover all the key aspects:
- Send out an e-mail notice before the new hire’s arrival date, with some background information about the new hire so staff will be better prepared to offer a sincere, “welcome” on arrival day.
- Provide new employees with an orientation document covering your workplace policies. Better still, if available, direct them to a policies FAQ intranet intranet page as a resource. Include any details you think necessary, such as dress codes insurance options and holidays.
- Choose trainers and mentors carefully. Consider whether the person is a good match for the new hire, personally and professionally, and whether that person has an optimistic attitude about the organization.
- Hold off on the paperwork, if possible. Immediately flooding a new hire with forms and other dry stuff can be a downer the first day – when you’re trying to create an “up” experience. Let the person settle in a day or two before dropping off the required company forms.
- Schedule a Q&A day. Tell the new hire that you’re going to visit and chat after the first several days on the job, and mention that it would be a good idea to have some questions ready for you. That lets the person know that questions are welcome – and even encouraged.
- Communicate about communication. In some companies, e-mail is the standard way to communicate with the boss and co-workers. Other companies prefer face-to-face. Let the new hire know the preferred way in your organization: e-mails, quick stand-up meetings, shouting over the cubicle wall, etc.