How to welcome new employees into the work family

by Danielle Paterson

Did you know that a new team member typically decides within the first 30 days of employment whether they will stay with a company long term?

The impression you make in the first few weeks of employment, both as a business and as a boss, is critical to keeping those great new additions. Walking into a different work environment, meeting your team and learning the ropes of a new role can be a daunting task for even the most outgoing personality, which is why giving team members a proper welcome and induction to your business is incredibly important.

Every single person reading this has started a new job before. What is it you remember most about your first few days? Is it the office tour? The snacks in the lunchroom? Or is it the people you met and the way they made you feel?

An expectant, friendly face when you walk through the door, a solid plan in place for an induction and a clear layout of the job responsibilities should be the bare minimum to give your new team member a clear idea of what they’re walking into.

Why is it important (as a boss) to ensure that your staff feel welcomed as soon as they start?

  • So that the new team member feels like a part of the team.
  • It gives them an insight into the organisation, as well as the culture they are joining.
  • It builds your team member’s confidence and security in their new role, which can lead to reduction in staff turnover.
  • It helps foster honest and regular participation, and timely completion of tasks.
  • It helps to remove anxiety, bias and confusion about the organisation and its processes.
  • It fosters an environment where new employees feel comfortable with their colleagues and their assigned work.
  • Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. If your staff are happy and secure in their new role, they’re more likely to mention these positives to others, even future new staff.

First impressions can make or break!

What mistakes should you avoid in those first few weeks?

High turnover within an organisation can often be linked to a poor initial induction process. A poor welcome or a rushed induction is not a great way to introduce your new team member to your organisation and its culture. Some commonly made mistakes during initial weeks can include:

  • Information overload- Pushing too much info too fast can be daunting for someone just starting out. You don’t want to overwhelm them with all the things they don’t know or need to learn. Spread things out, allow them time to breath and check in regularly to see how they’re doing.
  • Inconsistency- Set a standard and stick to it. It’s okay to change up the way you integrate someone into the team, just make sure you’re not sacrificing their learning and comfort for the sake of productivity or because you’re ‘too busy’. 
  • Not being prepared– If you arrived on your first day and you had no computer, no chair and no stationary, you’d really start to question your value to the people who hired you. Make sure your new team member has everything they need to succeed and thrive in their role.
  • Assuming knowledge– The way things are done can be different at each business, which can leave new staff feeling unsure and lacking in confidence if you aren’t regularly checking in. Create an environment where your staff are comfortable asking questions and never just assume, because you know what they say about assuming!
  • Not allowing enough time– Make the time to give your newest member a proper welcome and introduction to their new position and team. If you are genuinely too busy to spend enough time with a new hire, another member of staff who is experienced and in a similar position could step in to help.

What do we do at Taipan?

All new Taipan staff go through an induction process in their first few weeks. During this process, they will meet with the head of each department and discuss what that department does. This way, they get a sense of who they will be working with and learn exactly who to go to for their questions. Having all employees go through a similar induction, no matter their position, is a simple reflection of our values.

We know that our people are the true driving force behind our business. A new team member’s induction is the first step in fostering a successful and hopefully long-lasting relationship. They have already been through an extensive interview process to ensure they are the right fit, so we build trust by investing in their development and future with the company. For other organisations, this process may be entirely different. There is no right way or checklist to creating trust with your staff, there is only what works best for you and the team you are building.

All new staff have the potential to add a huge amount of value to your business. Organisations that don’t put their best foot forward run the risk of losing their most important asset – their people!