Introduce new employees with care


If you’ve ever started a new job where you knew no one, you may have felt like a stranger in a strange land for some time. But when you hire new employees, you can probably transform them from strangers to integrated productive members of your team relatively quickly if you introduce them to their jobs thoughtfully and carefully.

  • During the weeks before your new employee’s start date, make a concerted effort to inventory procedures, terms, acronyms, the nuances of key relationships with other organizations and lessons learned that you now rely on but would be helpful for your newcomer to learn. Explain resulting information to your new newcomer as you orient him.
  • Before your newcomer starts, forewarn him of the agenda for his first day, so he can prepare appropriately. (But don’t schedule his first day with wall-to-wall activities.)
  • Prepare your newcomer’s workstation: It should have his name tag, be clean, equipped with a computer that can access his email account, a phone, and a small welcome greeting note.
  • Plan initial assignments for your newcomer so that he won’t waste time idly waiting for his first projects.
  • When your newcomer arrives on his first day, personally greet him warmly at your building entrance. Then, introduce you newcomer to your team — if only briefly. During this introduction, say that you’re happy about your newcomer’s arrival because of his unique background/special skills (and describe them) — not because you plan to drive him like harnessed beast on a backlog of work; don’t intimidate him by saying things like, “We are really overloaded here. You’re going to be really busy.”
  • When convenient, arrange a more formal meeting for your team members to explain their jobs and perhaps briefly mention their personal interests to help break the ice. If appropriate, arrange one-on-one sessions between team members.
  • Review with your newcomer his general responsibilities and your management style. Explain how your organization works. Provide organizational charts and staff lists. Also, review your organization’s goals, challenges (without negativity) and ongoing initiatives.
  • Give your newcomer orientation materials including strategic plans. Reassure the newcomer that he isn’t expected to know everything immediately. Additionally, explain regulations about time and attendance, and other administrative matters — don’t assume HR has done so.
  • If possible, wait until the newcomer has been oriented about his job, team and the organizational structure before he meets staffers and executives throughout your organization — so he will understand their roles when he meets them.
  • Introduce new information to your newcomer gradually without overwhelming him.
  • Before taking your newcomer to meetings during his first weeks/months, warn him what to expect. After meetings, review with him esoteric material.
  • Check in regularly with your newcomer and ask him how he is doing. Generously praise him and provide feedback diplomatically.

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