At the Apple Store in San Francisco, new employees are welcomed with a red carpet, flowers, and all the employees lining up to give the new hire boisterous and resounding rounds of applause that go on and on until the new hire finishes her walk up the staircase. The event is also videotaped for the benefit of the new hire. How cool is that, huh? For the new hire to be greeted this way on her first day will feel so embarrassing (everyone is practically a stranger) but you can’t deny the fact that it is something that will be hard to forget.
You can do the same for a new employee along with these other suggestions:
- Make sure her workstation is devoid of anything that was used by a former occupant. Be honest, really, how would you feel if you were the new employee and on your first day you are introduced to your workstation still strewn here and there with a few company photos (individual and group) and family photos of the former occupant cum ex-office employee? As a favor to the new employee especially if she will be working with you and your team in the department, how about taking it upon yourself to keep the old mementos until you can give it back to the former employee? It’s hard enough for the new employee given her new environment so please encourage her by making sure her workstation is impersonal and bare except for office equipment.
- Introduce yourself and the members of your team. Reporting on the first day of work at a new office is no different from that first day in kindergarten or high school. It can still be pretty intimidating at any age. Make the new employee feel at home by warmly introducing yourself and the new members of her team.
- Make sure the Human Resources team takes her on an office tour. Aside from sending email blast to the entire office announcing the arrival and hiring of this new employee, make sure the team takes her on an office tour so she can get acquainted with other people. Do this especially if you are her boss. You can only imagine how she will be sized up by her looks and appearance from the other employees at your “zoo.” Expect claws and catty remarks if she looks like Pamela Anderson during her Baywatch heyday.
- Take her out to lunch or ask her to join your team at lunch. Do you remember your first day at work? Do you still recall having to eat your first-day-of-work-Upsize-Burger-Fries-Coke meal out on a bench because no one asked you to join him or her at lunch? Don’t return the favor. Ask the greenhorn to join you or your team at lunch if she has no one to go with. This won’t be a regular thing. Soon she will be spreading her wings and just like you will have to turn down meal invitations because there’s so much work to be done.
- Get a collection going and buy a welcome gift for the new employee. This is not a company-wide effort and will depend largely on how generous people are where you work. If you think you can get five willing people on board, you can buy her a welcome cake. If you are on your own on this one, ask her for coffee as soon as she is settled in on her first day or when she would be free to accept your invitation.
- Have a welcome banner made by the art department. Hang this by the door of your own department so the new employee will instantly feel welcome.
It really is a blessing to meet new people at work or anywhere else. It’s no different when welcoming a new employee into the company fold. Become a blessing to this individual and you will be blessed in return. As they say, what you put out there comes back to you a hundred fold.