How do you onboard a new team member? A new employee has a lot to do in their first week: they have co-workers to meet, superiors to impress, orientations to attend, HR handbooks to read, and all while trying to learn the procedures and overall company culture. As you can imagine, this maze of tasks is a big source of stress and one that can impact employee satisfaction and productivity and ultimately the growth of the company.
With all of this craziness going on with your new employee, it is worth thinking about “how do you integrate or onboard new team members effectively?” so that they become a thriving part of the firm as quickly as possible. To help you answer this, this article outlines tips and tactics to help you onboard your new team member now and to improve your onboarding process for the future.
Tips to integrate your new employee instantly
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
Studies have found that one-third of new hires tend to quit within the first six months, so it is essential that you make these first days, weeks, and months count! Establish strong, positive connections with your new employees right from the start with these following tips:
- Introduce them to their colleagues - many employees are most nervous about coming into a well-established team and having to get to know everyone. Make this easier for them by making formal introductions yourself on their first day.
- Invite them to lunch - there’s nothing worse than having lunch by yourself when you’re the new guy, so make time to have your first one-on-one with them at lunch on their first day. This shows you value them as a team member and gives them the chance to ask you anything that’s on their mind.
- Announce their arrival via multiple channels - whether newsletter, emails, social media or that first meeting, use as many different methods as you can to announce your new arrival. This spreads the word to as many employees as possible and makes your new hire feel truly welcome.
- Leave a gift on their new desk - something as simple as an empty picture frame and a note saying “welcome, we are excited to have you as part of the team!” is such a lovely personal touch. Not only does it allow them to make their desk space theirs, but it makes a great first impression too.
- Put their photo on the new hires wall - adding their photo to the new hires wall before moving it to the team wall will instantly make your new employee feel included. This goes a long way as they may be feeling quite lonely in their first few days and weeks.
- Check-in after the first week - by simply checking in with your new employee at the end of their first week will show them that you truly care about them being here. You don’t want them to feel like you only make efforts with your employees on their first day and then forget about them, so just drop them an email or by their office or even schedule a catch-up meeting.
- Commemorate their first month - a great way to make your employee feel welcome and valued is to mark their first month of working with you. This is a simple effort to make, yet it makes a huge impact on your employee.
Tactics to streamline your onboarding process
How do you integrate new team members? If you want to do this effectively, you’ll need to go beyond just making your employee feel welcome in their first days and make efforts that will contribute to your overall onboarding process moving forward. By doing this, over time, you will have an effortless strategy in place that will integrate new employees into your accounting firm as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Here are proven tactics to help improve your employee onboarding:
- Reach out before their first day - regular email correspondence between the time of hiring and their first day will reassure them of their value and make them feel a lot more confident coming into the firm.
- Prepare yourself - remind 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 is very welcoming for your employee.
- Prepare your team - 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.
- Create a welcome pack - you can create a generic welcome pack for employees with both personal and useful items. This will take time to perfect but the impact is more than worth it.
- 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.
- Create a “get to know the staff” cheat sheet - prevent any anxiety when it comes to introductions with a cheat sheet naming every member of staff and interesting things to know about them. This is a great icebreaker but one that you will need to add to for every new member of staff!
- Have them meet with HR as soon as possible - this will help them get the answers they need, such as questions about compensation, benefits, amenities etc, as soon as possible.
- Organise a welcome party - whether it’s for each employee or a quarterly party for multiple new hires, an informal gathering will allow colleagues to mix without the added pressure of work.
- Assign them a mentor - create a mentorship or buddy system where an experienced employee is paired with a new hire. This partnership and sharing of knowledge offers massive benefits to each party and the organisation as a whole.
- Give them easy wins to start - give them easier tasks during that first day and week that you know they can complete. With each early win, they will gradually become more confident until they feel like an invaluable part of the team.
- Have them start on a Friday - there will be less busyness on a Friday and therefore less pressure for the new employee and existing employees to make introductions and to work as a team.
- Create a database of FAQs - create a shared document which serves as a database of frequently asked questions. This saves you the time and frustration of answering the same things over and over again, plus it comforts your new employee as it answers their concerns.
- Ask your employees for advice - the best way you can improve your onboarding process is by asking your existing employees how they found it? Make it a habit of asking all new and existing employees what they thought on their first day and week with the company and what you could have done to make them feel more welcome.
To onboard effectively, download our “free new employee onboarding checklist” here!
How do you integrate new team members?
With so much to do in their first few months, it is essential that you make all new employees feel as much at ease as you possibly can, whilst also highlighting how valuable they are to the team and overall firm. Only when you do this (using our proven tips and tactics above) will you start seeing your employee loyalty and retention rates increase!
Want to improve your onboarding process and grow your accounting firm? Download our "free new employee onboarding checklist" now to start making the right changes!