Trying to manage a productive, yet harmonious workforce can be a tough ask for many managers; especially when you’re trying to integrate new employees into the team, too. Smooth transitions into a new workforce are by no means a formality and issues can arise through this process, however, there are certain steps you can take in order to make new employees feel like part of the team from the off and improve the integration period.
Prepare the workspace in advance
Before the new employee arrives, make sure you have organised their workspace. Give the desk a wipe down, prepare all documents and information that they will need when they arrive and set up their computer or laptop and their work email so that everything is in place and working when they arrive. Otherwise, this might not make the best first impression when they arrive, if they then need to stand around waiting for you to set up their equipment for them.
In the days leading up to a new arrival make sure there is an announcement and everyone is made aware that there is going to be a new member joining the team and when. This way it won’t come as a surprise to anyone when the day comes; to either side. It’ll only make the new employee feel more anxious and uncomfortable if when they turn up for their first day no one knows who they are or what’s happening.
When you have a new member of the team joining it is important to take them around and introduce them to everyone. This way they will begin to get familiar with the rest of the team; after all, there’s nothing worse than being in an alien destination and not knowing anyone who’s around you. At least by doing this then they can begin to familiarise themselves with everyone’s faces.
If you know someone’s name and have been introduced, you are much more likely to reach out and speak to them than if you were still complete strangers just working in the same building. By introducing everyone to the new employee, it means if they have an issue or need help they will be more likely to reach out and ask for help, instead of just keeping their troubles to themselves.
Spend time together outside of work
It can be a good idea to try and take them outside of work and try to integrate them that way. People tend to be more relaxed away from the stress and worry of work, therefore do something as a team; whether that’s going out for a drink or go for lunch one day. If you have multiple new employees who are joining within a short period of time then arranging a staff day out for some team building activities might also work and help the new employees to integrate within the team.
Spending time outside of work can especially prove successful because by taking everyone away from the working environment, you’re also taking work out of the topic of discussion, allowing everyone to get to know people on a more personal basis.
Cover the basics
Make sure that you keep things simple and cover the basics first. Meaning that when you have a new employee you take them around the facilities, giving them a detailed tour of where everything is/how it works etc., introduce everyone. We also suggest that you have a sit down with them and have a discussion regarding their responsibilities; this will prevent any confusion between both parties – if there was any at all, as this can happen.
You can guide them through company policies formalities, procedures and general code of conduct within the workplace, or any obligations that the company might have towards them, again, this will just clear up any uncertainties. Having this sit down with them will also provide them with an opportunity to ask you questions as much as it is for you.
You can request feedback from the new employee about certain factors regarding their early days with the company. This can help provide a valuable insight into your introduction process and offer a different perspective on aspects that need to be tweaked. It also shows that you value their opinion, even at this early stage this will help them begin to feel more valuable to you already and that they’re at a company who considers any issues they might have or thoughts going forward.