First impressions and onboarding key factors

While first impressions are not always accurate (everyone has bad days – even companies) and completing tedious new employee forms simply can’t be avoided, it is crucial to an organization’s bottom line to do everything possible to get the welcome experience right. Why? Because people who are given a positive introduction to their co-workers and who are integrated into their new positions in a logical and fairly quick manner have a stronger foundation in your organization. They aren’t left feeling as though they’ve walked into chaos and are a bother to their manager and peers. They aren’t left guessing about what to do - or even worse for younger generations - why they are doing things.

When given appropriate attention, orientation and training, new team members understand the bigger picture and feel like they have a meaningful role in the success of the organization. Their feeling of positivity and purpose usually equals productivity and profit.

Whether you are a small business handling human resource, management and leadership responsibilities or a large corporation with facilities in several cities there are a few key factors that drive all successful new employee onboarding experiences:

Readiness: Have everything your employee will need for them to do their work set-up and ready for them to use before they arrive. Make sure their email address has been set up, a working computer is assigned and successfully connecting to the Internet, printer, shared network or anything else required for their role. Prepare their ID/name badge, business cards, basic supplies, and employee handbook. Make sure their work area/personal storage is cleared and take care of anything else unique to your organization that they will need.

Relationship-Building: You don’t have to throw a big and expensive bash to make someone feel welcome and appreciated. Simply accompanying them on a tour around the office and taking the time to introduce them everyone is helpful. Give them a list of names and titles ahead of time and then make sure there is an extra copy along with phone numbers and email addresses and other methods of common communication your team uses waiting for them after the tour to help with remembering names and faces.

Invite them to any gathering areas and times that are cultural norms for your team so they begin to fit in. For instance, does everyone gather in the kitchen area informally or formally where ideas and information are often exchanged? Do you typically have a pot luck lunch for birthdays that the new person should be aware of? Maybe your team tends to be out of the office a lot so they always head to a certain restaurant on the third Thursday of the month and that happens to be the second day of your new employee’s time in your organization. Help them connect to their co-workers. These human connections, even if your team primarily works remotely via technology, are essential to them ultimately feeling engaged and dedicated to your common mission.

Reviews: Support your managers and leaders with ongoing professional development that helps them understand how to continually work on their communication skills. Their reviews of the team should not happen once a year or just a few scheduled times. The strong bonds established through open, honest and constructive communication will provide your organization with a team that is constantly exchanging ideas and feedback in a healthy manner that is the very definition of employee engagement. This sort of communication style and culture starts from day one of a new team member’s experience.

Recognition: Recognition has two important components. The first component has little to do with reward and is more about recognizing that employees are more than cogs in the wheel of progress; they are human beings with full lives within, and outside, the organization. Recognition is an essential part of relationship-building between managers and employees, and between co-workers. People feel good when they know others notice and care about them. It is important to recognize when those around us have something going on in their lives. While there is a fine line between being too cold and being too personal, simply being a kind and considerate human being is a reasonable and healthy way to recognize team members.

The second component of recognition is to reward and uplift outstanding or exceptional attitudes and behaviors as examples of what is desired and considered successful. This sort of recognition is what we most associate with the word. Rewarding recognition can be given in many ways, and is typically most effective when presented to the recipient in front of their peers or those they care about.

When bringing someone new into the fold, it is helpful for them to understand what is recognized and rewarded within their new environment. It allows them to share in celebrating the success of their peers and set their own goals.

We hope these factors help you make great first impressions that will yield the results you’re looking for as you grow your team.

Our Balance Concierge Ambassadors partner with human resource directors, department managers and team leaders in large organizations within the healthcare industry to help coordinate personalized and positive onboarding and relocation experiences for new team members. Contact us to learn more at  877.502.2201 or click here.