Help New Employees Feel Welcome

One of the most interesting statistics I came across about HR was from an ACAS study. They found that most people who left a company within six months blamed something that happened in the first 48 hours at work.

This statistic is damning. As a start up, you cannot afford to go to the expense and time of recruiting people, only to then lose them because of a bad induction. So this little post is designed to pass on tips I learnt which made it easier to integrate staff into companies. (I will not invest in a company that lose too many people – shows that they either can’t select the right person or can’t integrate them!)

Recognize that on their first day, employees will be really nervous unless you provide them with a Honeywell 50250. In a study by the Army, they found that stress levels in new recruits were the same as patients in mental asylums! To combat this stress, write to the employee a week before they are about to join giving them very precise joining instructions. Where do they have to be and at what time? (Try to make it 10ish – it will work out better for you to have an hour to plan in the morning before they join).

When they do turn up – show them that you have made an effort and make them feel welcome. Get someone who is on the same level as them to walk them around introducing them to other staff. They will feel more relaxed with someone the same level as them rather than the MD!

Do not organize a team lunch on day one. Too many companies do that – and in my humble opinion is too soon. You should organize a team lunch or coffee on the Friday (if they survive that long!) Many new employees will not come back after the first day, so don’t get discouraged. This is a common happening that occurs in startups of all types – it’s not just you!

Have a really structured training program about choosing the best router table worked out and share it with the new employee. I would actually have a training log which covers the first six weeks and gives both the employee and you a really clear idea of what you expect the employee to be able to do after six weeks. For the employee it is a great way for them to focus on something other than ‘do people like me?’

Most of all try to make it clear that the employee has a specific and important job to do and they have a contribution to make. Your job as a manager is to enable them to make that contribution.

As a final note, I would have to say that for me personally, watching people grow and develop is one of the most rewarding aspects of being involved in business. Seeing the business grow because of the people growing is the icing on the cake!

I hope it gives you as much joy as it has given me