New employee onboarding is the process of getting new hires adjusted to the social, cultural and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. It is the process through which new hires learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviours required to function effectively within an organisation.

The first day on the new job can be nerve racking, a little awkward and sometimes even confusing for new and existing employees. As an HR professional, you need to make your new starters feel comfortable and welcomed as quickly as possible. Equally, it is important that the existing team get to know their new colleague as soon as possible.

When done effectively, a world-class welcome process goes a long way in minimising first week nerves for the new employee (and sometimes even their colleagues). It makes the new employee feel like they are part of the team quickly and also lets other workers know about their new colleague. A world-class welcome will lead to higher productivity and a greater retention.

The most important day on the job for a new employee is the first day. Here are 3 Easy Ways to Conduct a World-Class Welcome

1. New Employee Announcement Template

A new employee announcement template is used to introduce a new employee to their new co-workers. It provides an opportunity for you to tell current employees about their new teammate and to share their relevant skills, experience and a short personal story for the existing team to get to know the new hire on their first day.

What should every new employee announcement include?

  • A short Introduction and a photo of the new hire
  • The job title of the new team member and their team name
  • Experience level and previous employment (perhaps include a link to their professional network profile on LinkedIn)
  • What they’ll be doing within the company
  • Some personal facts the new hire would like their colleagues to know about them

2. Personalised New Employee Welcome Letter

When was the last time you received a hand written or even hand signed letter?

Like the old saying goes, you’ll never get a second chance to make a great first impression. And a poor onboarding experience can give a new employee the wrong impression of your company.

An efficient onboarding process with a heartfelt new employee welcome letter (even better if it is handwritten) from the boss will certainly assist in making your new recruit feel welcomed.

A new employee welcome letter is designed to welcome your new employee to your organisation. They are generally written for the new employee by the employee’s manager (or even better, a joint letter with CEO), and given on the first day (or sent in the post before), with a small welcome gift for that added WOW.

What to include in the new employee welcome letter?

  • A statement welcoming the employee to the organisation
  • A reinforcement of the department/team/group/program area values and priorities
  • Any specific initiatives related to the role
  • A brief look at the first couple of days including a team lunch
  • The start date, time and meeting spot (for those receiving the letter prior to their first day)

3. Provide a Written Onboarding Plan

A written onboarding plan is an effective and consistent way of welcoming new employees without missing any key details. Every phase of the onboarding process with a new employee is important, from before they begin their job, through their first month, to the successful completion of their first year.

It is best practice to document and plan the orientation process. An effective orientation process will save time and ensure consistency of information that is provided to every new staff. It reduces anxiety and employee turnover while setting realistic expectations to make the new staff member feel like part of a team. The written onboarding plan should cover:

  • Meeting schedule for the first week
  • Meeting set with line manager
  • Meetings with peers
  • Meetings with direct reports
  • Meetings with any other key stakeholder
  • Training schedule

Other Best Practices for Onboarding Include:

  • Implement all the basics prior to the first day on the job like email set up, business card printing, arranging and setting up the company mobile phone and desk
  • Make the first day on the job special and include the team
  • Design and implement a formal orientation program
  • Create and use written onboarding plans
  • Articulate key performance indicators so the new employee knows what is expected
  • Be present in nature and don’t leave the new hire in the deep end
  • Consistently implement onboarding
  • Monitor progress over time with regular check-ins
  • Utilise technology to facilitate the process
  • Recognise onboarding takes place over time- use milestones- 30 – 60 – 90 – 120 days on the job up to 1 year post-company entry
  • Engage key stakeholders in planning
  • Include key stakeholder meetings

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