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How to Welcome a New Employee

Author: Dave Rietsema - Matchr CEO

So you’ve gone through the recruiting and interview process and have extended an offer to an employee to join your company. But what happens next? The onboarding process is essential to getting your new hire acclimated to your company and working productively as quickly as possible.

It’s a good idea to have a checklist for welcoming a new employee. A new hire employee checklist can be incredibly useful in ensuring that you’re prepared to welcome new hires on their first day. But how do you welcome a new employee?

Before the Start Date

The process of welcoming new employees begins before the employee even sets foot in your company’s offices. It’s important to start a new employee off the right way so they’re set up for success. As soon as the new hire has received and returned the signed job offer, you can start the onboarding process.

Send a Welcome Email

Although you’ve already been in touch with the employee to hire them in the first place, you should contact the new hire after the job offer has been signed and returned. You can use either email or a phone call to do so. The idea is to express how excited you are to be working with the new hire.

The person who should make this phone call or send this email is the person the new employee will be reporting to. You can also outline the next steps of the onboarding process to the new hire so that they know what to expect. It’s also a good idea to communicate frequently with the new hire so they feel comfortable and confident coming in on the first day.

Send Documentation Ahead of Time

Every new hire comes with a significant amount of paperwork that every employee must both read and sign. A new employee welcome kit should consist of all of the legal documentation needed by the company and can include the following:

  • Employment contract
  • I-9
  • W-4
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Non-compete agreement
  • Direct deposit form
  • State tax withholding forms
  • State new hire notification forms
  • Designation of beneficiary
  • And possibly more…

It’s important to get all of the necessary paperwork in order as quickly as possible so the new hire can go about learning the ropes of their new position. Sending any necessary paperwork to the employee ahead of time is a great way to start a trusting relationship with your new hire. It also gets the paperwork out of the way before the employee’s first day so you don’t have to take up valuable time with it later on.

Employee Benefits

Explaining the benefits to your new hire is crucial, especially if the employee will need to make some choices. The documents for benefits may also need signatures that the employee will need to provide for you.

Depending on what benefits your company offers, this explanation may cover the following:

  • Insurance
  • Health
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life
  • Disability
  • Retirement
  • Any other perks
  • PTO
  • Employee wellness plans
  • Reimbursements

Employee Handbook

It’s also critical for the new employee to be introduced to any policies or procedures at the very beginning. For example, employees should be informed of company policy regarding electronic device usage, whether or not there are drug tests, the expected dress code, and other such policies and procedures. All of these should be understood by a new hire before they actually begin working.

An employee handbook can be extremely useful in explaining your policies and procedures. Employees can refer to the handbook later if they have any questions. New hires should read the handbook thoroughly and sign when they have completed it to show that they understand its contents.

Including explaining policies and having a new employee sign that they have read and understood them can help protect the company legally as well.

Get the New Hire’s Workspace Ready

Impress the new hire by having their workspace ready before they arrive. Any supplies that the new hire will need should be set up and ready to go. You don’t want to make the new employee sit around on the first day because a laptop wasn’t ready for them or have them wait because there wasn’t a desk ready.

If there is software the new hire will need to use, ensure that it’s already installed on their computer. If they’ll need access to databases or systems, ensure that they’ll have access right away. Get their email account set up and ready to go.

Create an Onboarding Schedule

You should have a schedule prepared ahead of time. What will the new hire need to learn the first day in order to start being productive right away? The schedule should be customized based on the demands of the new employee’s position and the department in which they’ll be working. 

Each day should involve some onboarding activities, but those shouldn’t take up all of each day. It’s better to spread out the onboarding and the training so that the employee gets a chance to get some hands-on experience with their new position.

Day One

Schedule a Meeting with HR

The new employee should meet with HR early on their first day. Even though the new hire should have received the paperwork ahead of time, they may still have questions for HR that should be addressed right away.

Assign a Mentor

Having a mentor is a great way for a new hire to learn the ropes. They can learn directly from a more experienced employee. Plus, a mentor can answer questions that may not be covered in documentation or training. The mentor can offer insights into the company’s culture and also show the new hire tips and tricks for getting started.

Meet the Team

Once all of the necessary paperwork has been signed and the new employee understands all of the procedures and policies, it’s time for the new employee to be introduced to the company. This should involve a tour of the workplace and introducing the new hire to his or her coworkers and supervisors. It’s important for a new employee to feel comfortable in their new workplace and know where they can get anything they might need to do their job well, whether that’s office supplies or getting questions answered.

Have a Team Lunch

It’s important for the new hire to get to know their coworkers. Having a team lunch to include the new hire is a good way for them to get to know each other outside of a work setting. The new hire will have met their coworkers already, but lunch is an opportunity to talk while their coworkers aren’t busy working. It’s also a good opportunity for your existing team to welcome their new team member and get to know the person they’ll be working with.

After the First Day

Onboarding doesn’t end after the new hire’s first day is over. It will take some time for the employee to learn everything that they’ll need to know. You should have prepared a schedule ahead of time so you know what the new hire will be learning each day until they’ve completed all of their training.

Provide Ongoing Training

his may involve hands-on training or shadowing a more experienced employee. Whatever the training involves, the employee should be given a clear understanding of what the training will entail, how long it will take, and what the expectations are for it so they have an idea of what the first few weeks at your company will be like.

It may take some time for a new hire to get up to speed and to be as productive as your more experienced employees. But that doesn’t mean that a new employee can’t be productive on day one. Providing a new employee with some simple tasks that are related to their job can go a long way towards making that employee feel like a productive and valued member of your team sooner.

Are you looking for a HRIS to help manage your onboarding process? We can help you find the software that best fits your needs. Visit our Software Match page to get started.

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