Thursday, October 22, 2009

Welcome Your New Hires

Although simply finding someone great to fill an open position in your company can seem like the most critical part of hiring, it's equally important to smooth the transition and make sure new hires are able to hit the ground running. Karen Lawson, author of "New Employee Orientation Training" and president of Lawson Consulting Group Inc. in Landsdale, PA, offers these tips for managers:

  • Inform your staff of the new hire, even with a simple email. Informal meetings or memos can help ease tension and let everyone know how the new employee's responsibilities will dovetail with their own.
  • Make sure the new hire has a space to call their own from day one, so they feel welcome and settled. Don't leave the arrangements until the last minute, since they can take longer than you anticipate.
  • Take the time to greet new employees in person and show them the ropes. The first impression is critical. "This is not something that can be delegated," says Ms. Lawson. "It really sets the tone." It's also a good idea to keep the office's social network in mind. Assigning a "buddy" on the hire's level and pointing out who runs the office sports team can make the new hire feel more connected right away.
  • Help the new hire feel familiar with your office culture by taking the time to mention the unwritten rules, like the need to clean out the coffee pot or where bosses tend to congregate.
  • Sit down with your new employee to set clear short- and long-term plans. Management's expectations should be clear from the beginning, as should review processes. Ms. Lawson recommends weekly meetings for the first month or so: "Bringing an employee on board is a process that needs to take place over weeks and months. It's not just a one-time event."

Build a better business by preparing for new hires so they can get oriented quickly.