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Helping new employees succeed

If you ask people what they dread most about starting a new job, they’re likely to answer “the first day.” Either they are bored due to lack of a training schedule where things don’t move fast enough, or they are overwhelmed because too much is dropped on them without any orientation.

What new employees learn during their initial weeks at your company and, more important, how they are treated, can make a significant difference in their future effectiveness and morale. Here are some ideas for making those first few weeks a productive springboard to success for employee and employer alike.

Create a new hire checklist
Pull together “need-to-know” information for a new hire’s first day, including his or her desk location, an office or floor map detailing break rooms and restrooms, a company directory, email addresses, phone numbers and passwords.


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Other valuable items on the checklist could include:

  • Your company’s mission statement and values.
  • Background on its organization, markets and competitors.
  • The new hire’s duties, tasks and responsibilities.
  • Salary, benefits and time-off policies (vacation and sick leave).
  • IT and company security procedures.
  • Points of contact to help with future questions.
Involve your other employees too 
Establish a training template for your managers to use as new staff is added. This helps to ensure consistency in the on-boarding process and makes sure important steps aren’t left out. Ask each department or area of responsibility what they feel is important for new hires to know as they join your organization. That feedback can become the framework of your company’s on-boarding plan.

Schedule individual meetings between the new hire and his or her manager and department peers throughout the first week. This is a great way for a new employee to meet co-workers without becoming too overwhelmed. You may want to assign a seasoned employee as a mentor to each new hire. Inter-department crosstraining helps build future teamwork, too.

And don’t overlook the social aspect of welcoming a new hire. Organizing a team welcome lunch or optional company happy hour allows your employees to get to know each other personally, as well as professionally.