Before you were an entrepreneur, you probably remember what it was like to be the New Person in the office.
It’s not a pleasant memory, is it? As the New Person, you’re effectively a sideshow, a zoo animal. Everyone peers at you, says hello, asks about your life– but the whole while, it’s just outright awkward and forced. You didn’t know your new colleagues, how things were done, or whether or not you were ever going to feel at home.
As a business owner, those days of being the New Person have probably faded in your memory– but there’s good reason you should keep them in mind. When you hire someone new for your business, you want to ensure they settle in as quickly as possible. This is better for their morale and for the overall productivity of the company, so a veritable win/win. However, many businesses get the settling in process painfully incorrect. Here are a few “dos” and “don’ts” that you need to keep in mind.
DO: Help The New Person Blend In
The last thing you want is for the New Employee to stick out like a sore thumb. When you make the job offer, give them a few tips about how employees dress– this will soothe a lot of nerves.
Then, ensure they don’t stand out due to lacking something. If your employees usually wear office ID with lanyards, then you need to make sure your New Employee has the same for their first day of work. Keep a good stock of lanyards to ensure you’re always ready to do this; see more here for possible bulk purchase options. By taking the steps to guarantee your New Employee can blend in, they will naturally feel more like part of the team.
DON’T: Force Them To Give A Speech / Announcement / “Hello” Email
So many business owners do this, and it’s outright mortifying for the employee in question. Even if they are the most extroverted person in the world, effectively being forced to announce your presence — the way a Mediaeval king might have announced themselves — is never a good idea. If you do want to announce them, then you write the email; anything else is just going to cause huge embarrassment to your new employee.
DO: Explain The Office “Rules”
Every office tends to become an ecosystem, with its own rules and regulations– even if they’re informal. For example, there might be a rule that coffee cups always have to be washed up, or that no two people should take breaks at the same time. Your New Employee needs to know about these rules on day one. If you don’t personally know the rules, then introduce your New Employee to someone who does– you don’t want them to have to spend their first day second-guessing every decision they make.
Integrating new employees is a delicate matter that should be treated sensitively. Acknowledge the New Employee might be struggling under a huge amount of new information, and let them settle in at their own pace. If you get this right, you should have a grateful employee, who is all the more determined to work hard for your business.