Four Tips on Onboarding New Employees

new employees

Do you remember that feeling the first day at a new job when you didn’t know all the rules, etiquette, maybe even your email address or where your office was? It can be scary and stressful stuff. Helping that new employee to make a smooth transition in your office culture is very important. Spend some time writing a list of tasks and resources for that new employee. A smooth beginning will be very welcome by them and will help them dive into their productive phase faster.

Tedious Tasks

There are several tedious things that will need their attention. If you can provide a resource guide for the new employee to refer to, it will help ease the transition. It should cover some basic tasks: How to setup voicemail, what their copy code or long distance code is, how to operate the phone system, where are the shared digital files, and where and how to  access the shared calendars. If your university requires parking passes, help the new employee to get theirs right away. We all take these things for granted once we’ve been at a job for a length of time.

Ready Resources

Make the new employee’s office welcome with a fresh look, new supplies and other needed items. Make sure their computer has all the software they’ll need to do their job. If you have specialty programs for employee time clock, scheduling of facilities or recordkeeping, make sure the software is on the computer and a resource book is there to help them navigate through it.

Welcome Week

You’ve already spent a considerable amount of money advertising your position, hours of committee work gleaning through resumes and making reference calls, and the cost of bringing candidates to campus. Now, it’s important you treat your new employee like the treasure they are. A few fresh flowers from someone’s garden would be a welcome sight on the new employee’s desk. A gift card for a cup of coffee helps to make one feel welcome. If a staff member is willing to bring treats – healthy or not – take advantage and celebrate the new employee’s welcome. Make appointments with the new employee and each staff member so a great interaction can begin their career and the employees can share a little about themselves and their job tasks. Make sure to update your web pages with the new employee’s photo and contact information. A “Welcome Our New Employee” post on Facebook or Twitter starts things off right.

Culture Club 

Finally, every department develops a culture of their own. Make sure you share this information with the new employee. If your office celebrates birthdays, anniversaries or events, share this information also. Does your office have a shared break facility? Do your colleagues tend to share a lunch together every so often? These are things they need to know. Does your office like to play slowpitch softball at the local park district or do you have a golf team in a league? All these things will help onboard that new employee and make them feel welcome.

Sometimes it’s uncomfortable being the new employee. Making them feel welcome and productive will lead to a stronger team in your office in the future. The little things do add up to a wonderful, big welcome.

Julie Terstriep
Julie Terstriep, M.S 2013, is a business manager at Campus Recreation, Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. She is also a certified Illinois High School Association volleyball referee and was named the 2015 IHSA girls’ volleyball Official of the Year. Her family is the seventh generation to farm in western Illinois.

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