12 Ways to Welcome a New Employee to the Team

hiring HR New hire staffing

Starting a new job can be stressful, so as a leader, it’s crucial to make sure that your new hires feel welcome and supported from the very beginning. Here, 12 Young Entrepreneur Council members share onboarding strategies that leaders can use to ensure new employees feel welcome and that they get off to a successful start.

Most people are familiar with the blend of anticipation and anxiety that comes with the first day at a new job. What’s one strategy you use to ensure a new hire feels welcome on day one?

1. Host an office get-together

We love making new hires feel welcome with an office get-together. Ditch the ice-breaker questions where you have to come up with something clever on the spot instead of just being yourself. You hired this person because you loved their work and felt good about their personality. Remind them that if they seem anxious, and let the relationships build naturally from there. —Kaitleen Shee, GROW

2. Do something active together

We have two methods that prove the most effective in breaking the ice: each new hire has the opportunity to join a fellow coworker on a bike ride, and each new hire answers our three questions, which then get posted in a visible spot in our office. The questions are: 1. What major experiences do you want to have in your life? 2. How do you want to grow? 3. How do you want to contribute to the world? —Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery

3. Offer guidance

Each new team member is onboarded with as much warmth as possible by HR, directors (individually), and their team members in their specific departments. All final interviews are with me (as president of the company), so I get to meet them even before they are officially welcomed on board. This gives me the chance to express that my door is also always open, should they need anything from me. —Magnus Simonarson, Consultwebs

4. Onboard before the first day

Get as much of the onboarding work done before day one so that your new hire can hit the ground running right away. You might say this is selfish, and it certainly will improve productivity at the margins, but it also ensures your new hire doesn’t start off on the wrong foot, confused, and maybe even overwhelmed by all the HR tasks before them while they’re on the clock. —Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

5. Provide thorough information

I find that when people know what to expect, it helps stave off anxiety. I provide a detailed onboarding process before the employee’s first day that includes a thorough explanation of their role, expectations, and the company culture. I also make sure to schedule regular check-ins throughout the onboarding process to ensure they are comfortable, and answer any questions they may have. —Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage

6. Design a comprehensive onboarding schedule

To ensure a new hire feels welcome and gets off to a successful start, we have an onboarding process that covers both practical and emotional aspects of the transition. We have an orientation schedule with a designated point of contact or mentor. We also provide access to relevant resources and connect new hires with at least one of our employees. This approach helps the new hire feel prepared and supported. —Kazi Mamun, CANSOFT

7. Pair new hires with seasoned coworkers

One strategy to ensure that new hires feel welcome and get off to a successful start is assigning them a buddy. A work buddy can help new recruits get acquainted with the company’s culture and cater to their questions in their time of need. Work buddies act as mentors for new recruits, helping them channel their energy in the right direction while making them feel at home. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Use Slack to give a shout-out

When a new hire joins the company, we ensure that the entire team gives them a warm welcome in our Slack family channel. As a remote company, we don’t get to meet each other every day, but that doesn’t stop the team from welcoming our new members. We believe that them seeing all the warm messages is a great start for the new hires. It makes them feel welcomed and comfortable right from day one. —Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

9. Design a coworker reference sheet

We are a boutique professional service firm and our team is small. Before a new hire’s actual first day on the job, and once they are done with training, we show them an organization chart with pictures and links to bios of our team members. After they’ve had time to review it, we introduce them to the team in our daily huddle so they can put an actual face to the names of those they will be working with. —Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office

10. Call a team meeting

If you want new employees to feel welcome, introduce them in your company chat and at the first team meeting. We encourage our new employees to greet the rest of the team and share a few interesting facts about their hobbies or career. I’ve found that this strategy helps team members bond and find common ground, which is necessary for delivering a warm welcome. —John Turner, SeedProd LLC

11. Host a welcome event outside the office

We always celebrate a new hire with an event outside the office. Sometimes it is grabbing a coffee around the corner and sometimes it is lunch, but we take advantage of the Miami weather and spirit of invitation to make sure that they feel like they are wanted, needed, and appreciated from day one. It is paramount to the success of a hire that they feel wanted and appreciated, even before they start. —Matthew Capala, Alphametic

12. Send a small care package

One way to ensure new team members feel welcome is by sending them a care package. We ship our new hires a box of branded goodies between their hire date and their first day on the team. New employees have told us that this small gesture meant a lot to them and helped them feel like a valuable part of the team, even during their first week. —Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights