It’s no surprise that people love to work where they feel welcome; it is a surprise, however, that one-third of new hires tend to quit within the first six months! This statistic goes to show the importance and power of a successful onboarding process. To help you streamline your process at your accounting firm, this article outlines why onboarding is so important and how to welcome a new employee to the team.
Welcoming new employees is essential
As you can see from the statistic above, new employees tend to quit their jobs within the first 6 months and this is largely due to job dissatisfaction. This may not make sense at first, as why would they go through the trouble of applications and interviews just to quit after such a short time? What many employers don’t realise is that a lot of the time, this ‘job dissatisfaction’ is caused by an ineffective onboarding process.
It is so crucial to make every new employee feel welcome and like a valued part of your firm right from the start. Why? Because if you do this right, it more often than not results in:
- Employee loyalty
- A better employee retention rate
- Higher productivity and innovation
- A positive work attitude and behaviour
- Cost savings when it comes to recruitment
How to welcome a new employee to the team
First impressions matter a lot, so it is essential to make every new employee feel welcomed and valued right from the start. Here are some ways that you can do just that when you onboard your new hire.
1) Reach out before their first day
Maintain contact with the new employee from the moment you tell them they’ve been hired up until their first day. Many employees have said that not hearing from their employer until their first day made them feel lost, a little abandoned, and terrified for their first day, so avoid this by having regular email correspondence. Reassurance and guidance can help make the onboarding process go a lot smoother.
2) Prep yourself
There is nothing worse than showing up on your first day of work to a manager or team who doesn’t recognise you. Make sure that you prepare for their arrival by reminding yourself of their name, work experience, where they came from, the position their filling, their hobbies or family life, and other relevant information. Something as simple as this can be very personal to your employee and will make them feel much more valued at your firm.
3) Prep the team
Just like you did with yourself, prepare your team for the new hire’s arrival. Share the information you know with your team and encourage them to personally welcome the new addition with kindness and enthusiasm. Over time, with each new employee being greeted with a friendly start, they are more likely to extend that same kindness to the next employee too.
4) Have a welcome pack or basket ready
Thinking about how to welcome a new employee to the team? Why not put together a welcome pack or basket with everything that they need? The pack or basket can be filled with small things like office supplies, snacks, gift cards to local coffee shops, business cards, and even a nice welcome card from the team. You can also include a welcome letter that outlines important policies and procedures such as the dress code and daily schedules etc which they will find useful.
5) Create a schedule for them
Eliminate any confusion and stress that your new hire may have by creating a schedule for them for their first day or week. A helpful schedule should balance their actual work tasks with the onboarding process to help them integrate into their new environment as smoothly as possible. With a schedule, your new employee will feel very productive right off the bat which will do wonders for their self-esteem and motivation.
Need help with your onboarding process? Download our “free new employee onboarding checklist” here!
6) Introduce them to their colleagues
To help your new hire make initial introductions, organise an informal meet and greet with the whole team. This fosters a certain level of unity and allows your new employee to meet everyone in one fell swoop. Simple, yet intentional introductions can make a lasting impression and create a solid foundation for strong interprofessional relationships to be built.
7) Have them meet with HR as soon as possible
Your new hire will have questions about compensation, benefits, amenities etc, questions that they may not feel like they can ask yet. To help them get the answers they need, have them meet with human resources as soon as possible to discuss any questions they have with them.
8) Assign them a mentor
Match your new hire up with a mentor (an existing employee with experience within the company); someone who can answer questions, offer advice and generally help ease the new hire into their new environment. By utilising the buddy system, you are making sure that your new employee has someone that they can turn to when they need help.
9) Invite them to lunch
One of the best ways to make your new employee feel welcome is by inviting them to lunch each day for their first week. Nobody would like to eat alone in a room full of people who already know each other so this small gesture really does a lot to ease the new guy butterflies as well as showing them that you are happy they are a part of the team.
10) Give them easy wins to start
There’s nothing worse than being thrown in at the deep end and feeling inadequate so make sure your new employee starts off strong. Give them easier tasks during that first day and week that you know they can complete. That way, each way they rack up an early win, they will gradually become more confident until they feel like an invaluable part of the team.
11) Check-in after the first week
When employers think about how to welcome a new employee to the team, many of them don’t think much beyond their first day. This is a mistake as a successful onboarding process should last at least throughout their first month. Make a point of checking in with them via email or popping into their office for a chat to see how they are doing in their first week, then schedule regular informal performance reviews to show them that you really care about how they are settling in.
12) Commemorate their first month
Similarly to the first-week check-in, many employers don’t think past this first week to show their employee that they are a valuable asset to the team. When thinking about how to welcome a new employee to the team, always commemorate their first month on the job. A celebratory email or a nice written letter, even just lunch with the whole team can be enough of a gesture to show them that you’re happy they are with the company and that you’re excited about what’s to come.
Make onboarding a priority at your firm
It only takes a bit of preparation and kindness to make your new employees feel welcome at your firm, but this makes a massive impact on your employee. If you improve your onboarding process with these 12 tips above, you can be sure that you’ll grow a productive team of happy, loyal employees who will stay with you for the long term.
Don’t forget to download our “free new employee onboarding checklist!”