Onboarding: A New Employee’s Perspective
If you’ve brought someone new into your company recently, you know how important the first few weeks can be in introducing them to your culture. Onboarding is a hot topic right now, but welcoming new employees is more than plying them with tons of swag, champagne, or even a chauffeured ride to work. As a recent addition to the CultureIQ team, I wanted to share a few things I learned from my onboarding process. Here are a few ways to make your new hire feel welcome, and set the tone for a positive work experience.
1. Start early. Just minutes after I decided to join CultureIQ, the CEO, Greg, emailed the whole company to welcome me aboard. My new colleagues replied-all to the thread, echoing Greg’s kind words and adding some of their own. I hadn’t even started yet, and people were already going out of their way to make me feel like part of the team.
2. Set up for success. On your new hire’s first day, their workstation and everything they need should be ready and waiting for them. Make sure they know where and when they’re expected to show up, and who will be meeting them. On my first day, an “I <3 Culture” mug full of snacks was waiting next to my computer, which was a thoughtful—and delicious—surprise!
3. Be approachable. In my first week at CultureIQ (okay, fine… my first three weeks), I followed my colleague Jamie around like a puppy, asking her a zillion questions. Even things like how to use the office coffee machine or whether to reply to a calendar invite can be intimidating to new employees. It’s so important to have a “no such thing as a dumb question” attitude when training a new hire—everyone learns differently, and providing a little extra context now can prevent costly mistakes down the line.
4. Learn together. A new employee is an opportunity to get a fresh perspective on your business. As your rookie learns the ropes, ask them what’s going well and what they’re finding confusing or counterintuitive. By asking for their input early on, you’re sending the message that you value their opinions, and you’re also getting the chance to look at your company, products, and methods through fresh eyes.
Training a new employee is an ongoing process—I don’t know if I’ll ever not be asking Jamie a zillion questions a week. It can be hard to take time away from your own work to help teach someone new, but it goes a long way toward making them feel supported. Just like with the rest of your company culture, investing a little bit in onboarding can pay off with more engaged and productive employees over the long haul.