New employees see the world with fresh eyes. That means everything from the messy corporate kitchen to office gossip flying across the halls—things that you seasoned team members accept as the status quo—make a significant impression on newcomers for better or worse. Make sure your workplace is sending the right message and creating a positive onboarding experience with these strategies for cultivating a newcomer-friendly office environment.
1. Primp, Preen, and Personalize
Walking through a sea of cookie-cutter cubicles is enough to rain on anyone’s parade. Encourage your employees to decorate their spaces, making them their own and letting their personalities shine through. Workplace appropriate film posters for the cinema buffs, sports memorabilia for the die-hard football fans—everything is fair game aside from the world’s saddest holiday decorations.
Homey workspaces are not only excellent for team morale, but they also demonstrate to newcomers that your employees are free to be themselves! Just remember to spice up your newest coworker’s desk so their workspace doesn’t look sparse against the sea of personality.
2. Create Community Spaces
One trick that successful companies use to bring new team members into the fold is to basically force everyone to interact organically.For some organizations, this means moving away from completely open office spacesand offering “breakout” rooms for smaller groups to hang out and brainstorm.
For others, this means creating a large, central cafeteria and coffee station that would make even an Iron Chef jealous. The result is a better, more cohesive workplace culture that engages newcomers and helps them make friends quickly and easily.
3. Send Out a Heads-Up
Communicating with new hires before their start date is essential, but many HR directors or team managers forget to turn back around and communicate with existing employees as well. Send out an office-wide email, release a carrier pigeon, or light up a Bat signal letting everyone know that a team member will be joining the group. That way, they will be ready with a welcoming smile when their new coworker comes around on an office tour.
4. Put Some Game Time on the Calendar
All work and no play makes for a boring first day. Okay, we might be paraphrasing a little there but at least it’s poetic. The point is that these fantastic workplace icebreakersshould make their way onto your new employee’s day one agenda at some point, if only to help them learn names and calm some jitters!
5. Assign an Office Sherpa
There is a reason why climbers summiting Mount Everest usually hire Sherpas: having someone there to guide your way significantly increases the odds of success. This rings true in the workplace as well. Assigning an experienced and engaged team member toguide each new employeethrough their first week, from making introductions to being available for questions, can ensure that your latest hires receive consistent cultureboarding for a stronger start.
6. Oh, And a Little Swag Never Hurt
We’re just sayin’: your new employees wouldn’t hate an awesome welcome kit like these beauties. Feel free to also throw in an office lexicon to help them learn the lingo.
Are your latest hires supervisors or senior leaders? New managers need extra onboarding in order to be effective, engaged leaders within your company.
If your newest hires oversee others, be sure to give them the additional attention and training they require for success. Download our free Manager Onboarding whitepaper now!