Wow, you did it. You worked so hard, investing time and resources to find that elusive, talented new employee who has the skills you need and who fits your company’s culture. High five to you.
But this is just the start. Now you must keep your new starter on board.
You need to manage how your new starter feels the minute they walk through the front door. The welcome is critical, especially with the fight for talent on the increase again. You don’t want your new employee leaving after two months because they didn’t feel loved or understand what you expected of them.
Here are 10 simple things you can do to welcome your new starter and dramatically increase the chances of them staying with you over the long term. These inexpensive actions promise to deliver great dividends.
Send the letter of offer quickly after acceptance. If there’s going to be a delay in sending the letter of offer to your new starter, let them know. There’s nothing worse for a new starter than having to chase their letter of offer. It puts doubt in their mind. Do they still have the job? Have you changed your decision? It’s natural for humans to think the worst. If you’re too busy to get such important information to your new starter, what message are you sending about how much they’re truly valued?
Touch base and confirm. Within a week before the start date, send an email to your new starter confirming you’re looking forward to having them on board. They’ll feel honoured that you’ve taken the time. A simple email is all that’s needed to confirm they’ve made the right decision. It also confirms that they’ve made the right choice by joining your company.
Tell the rest of the team. This may sound obvious, but it’s often missed and can create awkward situations when the new starter arrives. Tell the team in a meeting or send out an email so everyone is aware. Share the new starter’s professional background and their interests outside work. Your team can then use this information as a conversation starter.
Make sure your new starter can start to work on Day One. Make sure their desk is fully equipped and clean. If needed, have new business cards ready. Ensure technology and logins are ready to go. New starters regularly complain that they wait too long before they’re able to access systems and get productive. You usually know several weeks ahead of time that your new starter is coming. So, take the time to be prepared.
Organise a morning tea or lunch with the team on the first day. Place a welcome sign on the new starter’s desk with a couple of balloons and an invitation to a morning tea or lunch. Think about presenting the new starter with a small welcome gift and a personalised card from the CEO, manager or business owner. This could be as simple as a pen with their name engraved on it. It’s a fabulous way to say you value the new starter right from the beginning.
Plan a guided tour and explain the ins and outs of your organisation. Have a colleague take the new starter on a tour to explain where things are. It doesn’t matter how small your office is; take time to do it. This provides the new starter with a reference point and helps them settle without constantly having to interrupt colleagues with questions.Have someone personally present induction guides, presentations or videos to your new starter, including:
an overview of the company, how it started and its culture
where to find templates, forms and standard information
information about senior management and/or team members.
Assign the new starter with a buddy. The buddy is the new starter’s “go to person”. The new starter will feel comfortable asking their buddy questions. This approach also helps ground the new starter and it improves retention.
Schedule in one-on-one time with the new starter and their supervisor, as well as the CEO or owner. Schedule one-on-one time with the new starter and their supervisor to provide an overview of what’s expected—in the first, second and third month. Where possible, the CEO or owner should also take time to get to know the new starter and share big-picture information on the company’s values and strategic goals. This signals to the new starter that they’re important and appreciated.
Set goals and measure. It’s important for the supervisor to hold one-on-one monthly performance reviews for the first three months and again at the six-month mark and 12-month mark. At these reviews, outline what’s expected from the employee, as well as company standards for key performance indicators. Employees want goals and targets. They want to feel challenged to achieve against these. During these performance review sessions, allow the new starter to outline what they expect from the organisation.Always build these sessions around two-way, open and respectful communications. The sessions can be formal and informal. Don’t hesitate to head to a coffee shop for a chat. You’ll be amazed at the information you can gather when you’re on neutral ground and not in a formal meeting room.
Always celebrate a win. Research is clear. One of the top five reasons employees leave an organisation is lack of recognition. So, when your new starter achieves a goal, recognise and celebrate it. Even a simple email to the team acknowledging the achievement and/or a verbal “well done” goes a long way.
It takes a lot of effort and costs a lot of money to secure a new starter. Replacing employees is expensive so the less you must do it, the better off you’ll be. Following these few simple and inexpensive steps can greatly reduce your risk of losing new starters. It doesn’t take much to make someone feel welcome, valued and respected. It’s about doing many small things well.