5 Employee Orientation Ideas to Make New Employees Feel Welcomed

by Aug 16, 2021

Typically, new employee orientation is a one-time event that occurs on staff’s first day to help them assimilate to their new role. It usually entails bombarding new hires with meetings, powerpoints, and tons of information. That doesn’t even include all the paperwork new employees have to fill out. This can be an overwhelming process and a lot of times is not actually effective. 

In fact, 58 percent of organizations focus on processes and paperwork, which is boring and likely causes information overload. Smart organizations are finding value in creating a more engaging new hire experience and spreading traditional orientation activities throughout a longer onboarding period.

New employees look to their onboarding process for confirmation that they made the right decision. Choosing a job is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make; however, this decision is difficult with minimal information about the company and its expectations.

Employers that really care about soothing your fears will spend plenty of time making new hires comfortable on their first day. Before a candidate accepts a position, fill them in on what your onboarding process looks like and what will be expected of them. Here are some starting points to make sure your orientation is successful.

  • Be prepared: Have a new hire checklist, schedule meetings and training sessions in advance, get their workstation ready, and prepare other team members to help.
  • Have a clear purpose: Be clear on what experience you want a new hires to have in their first week, and make sure they know what the focus is.
  • Minimize surprises: Starting a new job is stressful, dont add to that stress with surpises. Make sure new hires know when and where they start, and have the tools needed for their first day.
  • Make it fun and engaging: Avoid boring orientation videos, long lecture-style presentations, and excessive amounts of time where new team members are alone.
  • Exercise patience: Mistakes are expected,especially when it comes to new staff. Make sure to show patient if they happen to make a mistake or forget something a long the way.
  • Don’t overwhelm: Set a reasonable pace, provide plenty of breaks and free time, and avoid overwhelming the new hire with too much information.
  • Provide resources: Introduce staff to all the key individuals needed and make sure they have all the tools and resources to be succesful.
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New Hire Orientation Ideas

1. Start early introductions to other employees

Introductions shouldn’t be on the first day, make sure to welcome staff before they start. The best way to welcome new employees is to get your current team involved. Of course, the hiring manager and recruiter should be the first to say how excited they are to have the new hire on the team. This is also an excellent opportunity to share the next steps.

Many organizations assign and introduce new hires to a mentor before their first day, so they feel comfortable asking questions. For instance, someone may want to know basic information about an organization, like where to park or a company’s dress code.

Finally, a welcome message from others in the organization can build off the excitement of the new hire’s offer letter. Whether your organization does this via email, Slack, or in person make sure to announce your new hire to the team and ask them to extend a heartfelt welcome. 

2. Welcome Gift 

This may be an obvious part of employee onboarding but can really make the difference in welcoming new employees. Emails and handwritten messages are a start, but the best way to welcome new staff is through swag boxes. Easily customize your box with company-branded merch and gifts. Easily customize your swag today with YouInkIt.

Personalized gifts with new employees’ names can go a long way in making staff feel comfortable with a new organization. Gift cards to coffee or lunch places in your area, t-shirts, water bottles, branded notebooks, books that highlight the company culture, and anything else you can think of is a great start.

3. Decorate their desks

At the bare minimum, new hires should have a desk, computer, and all logins needed for their work set up before their arrival. Some organizations may go above and beyond by decorating their new hires’ desks with welcome messages and gifts. This may include a “welcome” banner, handwritten notes from the hiring manager and colleagues, and some company swag. 

If you send out a new hire questionnaire to get to know them, add in some of their favorite items as a personal gift. You may also choose to provide some gift cards to local coffee shops or lunch spots. Better yet, have your team write welcome notes.

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4. Give Your Employees a Week-by-week Guide

The transition period does not stop at the first week. We suggest you use a 90-day transition plan with week-by-week guidelines. That’s one way to ensure that your new hires feel supported all the way through the onboarding process and not just that first week when you’re really new. This is an ongoing process that goes way past day one orientation.

5. Get Feedback

How do we know if the onboarding process is working? It’s great to have an employee onboarding plan, but we must determine if that process works. Employee feedback is essential for designing and executing great HR programs. Ask new remote employees to pay close attention to the process and tell you what worked and what didn’t. These new hire surveys allow human resource managers to constantly improve the process of onboarding.

Final Thoughts

When almost 30 percent of job seekers have left a job within the first 90 days of starting, an engaging onboarding is crucial. This is your organization’s opportunity to leave a positive first impression, and build off the original excitement of new staff. It’s also an opportunity for new hires to learn about the company and begin building strong professional relationships, so they feel more connected to your organization. After proper onboarding, management can then focus on building relationships with staff that lead to long term commitment.

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