Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking – not just for the new employee, but often for the employer as well.
A new member of staff can change the dynamics of an office culture; get it wrong and they can turn a harmonious team into a disgruntled one, get it right and they can become an asset to the team and company as a whole.
As an employer getting through the recruitment process can be daunting enough. Nowadays there are many forms of recruitment, from in-house HR departments to recruitment software, there are even companies that specialise in providing outsourced recruitment services.
However, unlike the recruitment process, there are no companies available to help new workers settle into their office environment. Instead it comes down to you, as the employer, to ensure recruits are provided with all the resources they need to become accepted and productive members of the team.
Here are some tips that will help new employees to settle into the office quickly and easily.
Prep the team
Make sure your staff, especially those who will be working directly with the new employee, know when they are starting and basic information about them. It is far easier for a new person to settle into their working environment if they don’t have to keep repeating their name and basic career history. Instead they will be able to use this time to get to know their colleagues, the work they will be doing and the office environment.
Appointing a personal mentor is a great way of helping someone settle into a department. Normally given to a team member, this role will provide the new person with a go-to person in case they have any questions and someone to guide them through basic day-to-day tasks. It will also provide them with a person to show them the office routine and help them assimilate into the team.
However much experience they have, when joining a new company employees will always need training. Whatever form of training you prefer, ensure that it is relevant, accessible and comprehensive and that it enables the person to have all the knowledge and tools they need to do the job. Also expect new staff to make mistakes – however competent a person is, starting a new job can be overwhelming so they are bound to make a few mistakes before settling properly into their jobs.
Provide information and lots of it. Remember new people won’t know basic stuff like where the toilets are, what time lunches are taken, where to go for office stationery. It is also a good idea to not just tell them about office-relevant information, but the surrounding area as well. Let them know the best places to go for a coffee and sandwich at lunchtime, where the nearest ATM machine is, where to park or, if they use public transport, bus and train times.
Socialising is an important part of the modern working environment. It helps to build strong teams, creates a more relaxed working environment, and makes workers want to come into the office in the morning. Socialising is also key in helping new employees settle in. People are always more relaxed away from the office, so even if it is just encouraging staff to go out for lunch together, it can help build a strong and inclusive team dynamic.
If after-work social events are part of your office culture, ensure new employees are given plenty of warning about these, as many workers will have outside commitments such as partners and children they need to take into consideration in order to attend these events.
Written by Derin Clark, a writer, editor and blogger.