How to make new joiners feel welcome

Two women happily working together on an iPad.

If you’ve ever been the new kid at school, you’ll know the parallels with being a new joiner at the workplace: shiny shoes, high hopes – and no clue what to do or where anything is.

Whether you are 14 or 40, settling in is tough, and if you are reading this, that’s amazing – as you are the kind of person who wants to know how to make a new employee feel welcome.

At Collection Pot, new joiner fund collection was one of the biggest areas we saw growth in from 2021 onwards. It seems that smart businesses really are focusing on amplifying the culture fit for new joiners and are encouraging team members to not only send a few pounds towards this, but to focus on a wall of positivity – literally! 

Summary of the top ways to make new joiners feel welcome:

Here are some tips to get anyone settled in, regardless of role.

Use technology to your advantage.

When a new employee starts, they have to ask questions but also identify the person to ask, and how to open that communication channel. Before you know it, they have asked many questions that they may feel are quite simple – and their confidence is low.

Bots and tech can help add a layer to take away minor issues and help employees feel comfortable getting the answers they need.

Starburst, an analytics business, used an AI platform to do just this –  and in one month of deployment, saw that 62% of employees used the bot as their first line of defence for all support issues.

Let them do it from home

You may be a hybrid workplace but still onboarding at the office. Is there a reason for that? It could be down to a desire to make that ideal culture and grow those team connections.

However, could this part wait? After all, onboarding has two parts: the physical nuts and bolts of getting the person job ready and the ways to make a person feel included and part of a team. In one company called Cloudflare, the workforce had gone hybrid, and they also allowed employees to come into the office during their first week or onboard from home. To create connection, they bring in new hires as “classes,” so ten new employees embark on their first day together and complete the onboarding journey as a group.

This method may not work for the size of your business, but perhaps there are learnings that you can take away on how to make a new employee feel welcome whilst respecting their favourite place to work.

Preboard before you onboard

Preboarding takes away some of that useless ‘dead time’ when employees are stood about in an office ticking off forms or sat at home signing health and safety policies. It transfers this to a preboarding date. Of course, it’s up to you how and when you do this, but by focusing onboarding on the duties of the role and the preboarding on the HR admin, you might find people are up to speed faster.

Make peer-to-peer incentives for support with onboarding

Have you ever had to shadow other employees and found it a total time sink?

They need to figure out what to show you. You need to figure out what you’re looking at, and you are so new you can only offer a little commentary.

Why not incentivise peer-to-peer support so it’s focused and effective (and rewarded!) Get people buddied up and set up a reward in a new or existing incentive programme when they help make new joiners feel welcome.

For example, they might be tasked with a checklist and ensuring the new person is confident in a particular area or rewarded for organising meet and greets. Ask your people what they wish they had been helped with on their first days – the replies may be illuminating!

Make team connections through lunches and coffee

As luxury client connector FINDGROUP CEO and Co-Founder Joel Romero told Forbes, “If you can’t meet, you will never build a true rapport.” It’s so true.

While the new hire might work in a small team, getting them introduced to adjacent teams simultaneously is nice and great for business.

For example, a new marketing hire may want to meet sales and account management. It could be a great idea to secure a budget for all these teams to opt into a giant buffet get-together, a meal out, or to have their team’s manager invite anyone and everyone to get together.

The risk of keeping people just socialised within their core team is that it can get a few weeks down the line, and they haven’t made critical connections outside their work bubble.

New job gifts and new job cards

How to make a new employee feel welcome? Say it with cake, a card, a small miniature gin or just a mug so they know they can make a cup of tea. The feeling of inclusion when you arrive at a tidy, kitted-out desk or when you onboard at home and get to open a new job gift with your name on it is second to none.

Welcome boxes, onboarding gifts, and swag bags are great ways to show your culture of kindness and get your new hire on board with what you are about – and the cost doesn’t have to be extreme.

Don’t miss the crucial part though – a new job card from other employees welcoming them to their role. Launch this as an initiative with the next new hire you make, and send a virtual or physical card that team members can write in the card.

If they aren’t sure what to write in a new job card for a new hire – send them a link to this!

What to write in a new job card:

·  Welcome to the team! I work in XXX and will be your point of contact for anything around XX and YY. My email is XXXX. Stay in touch! NAME

·  I work in the tech department. Hopefully, you will only need me sometimes! Great to have you here. NAME

·  Having a new hire to the XX team is excellent, and I have heard great things about you. Speak soon!

·  I will see you soon, but I wish you a great first couple of days. NAME

·  Thanks for joining us at XXX! We are on a big journey, and it’s great to have you with us. NAME

·  No problem is too big or small. Please find me on Slack or email anytime – search for XXXX.

·  I can help with anything you need to know about XXXX. Hope to hear from you soon! NAME

We hope this helps spark ideas of how to make new joiners feel welcome. Do you have any other tips? Great stories about what was written in your new job card,  share them with us! Find us on all the major social networks.