The topic of interest this week is the importance of onboarding existing employees – those employees that are joining your team from another division. We recently welcomed an employee to my team at work who had worked in another team for the past year. Though her old & new teams worked closely together, she moved desks, has a new manager, and new responsibilities. We are just so excited to have her.
As her manager and I discussed her training, we also thought about how we could show this excitement and make her first day just as special as we would for a “new” employee. As a best practice for new employees, we always make a welcome sign, bring in a beautiful plant to dress up the new desk or leave a few little favourite treats of the new employee in addition to a first day team lunch.
It got me thinking: Why don’t we make it a best practice to do this for transitioning employees? The reasons is that most teams & companies don’t take the time to make that first day in the new team just as special as it isn’t viewed as a “first day.” Well, it should be! The extra effort it takes to welcome someone new to your team is going to pay off big time in how they feel about their transition.
Next time you welcome either a net new employee or an existing employee onto your team, I hope you really make them feel that personalized special welcome!
10 tips to do this:
1. Create a welcome sign in their favourite colour & have the entire team write a welcome message
2. Ask them their favourite candy & have a dish of it on their desk
3. Ensure their favourite colour pens or highlighters are in a cool new pen holder on their desk
4. Decorate their desk area with streamers, balloons or other fun finds
5. Have lunch plans for their first day with their new manager & new team members
6. Have the team make lunch plans (even just to sit in the lunch room) each day of the first week so the new employee can get to know their colleagues
7. Ensure the employee has some time with the department manager on their first day and day 5 to see how the first week is going
8. Bring in a coffee for them on their first day in a special mug you bought just for them that they can keep at the office
9. Welcome them via social media sites if you/they are active in that space
10. Buy them a cool new notebook for all of those new notes to be captured in
Remember it doesn’t have to be fancy; the goal is to leave someone with the feeling that you recognize their uniqueness and are so excited to have them on your team. This is especially true with millennial onboarding as they want to feel recognized for the unique individual they are and what they will bring to your team.
I leave you with a photo of my team welcoming our newest team member & a quote from Maya Angelou:
"I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel."