Given how difficult the recruitment process can be for both parties, it’s a shame when things fall apart at the final hurdle because someone struggles to settle into a new job.
The New Year always brings a new influx of talent to the market, but hiring and retaining staff is still a major challenge, so I thought I’d share some tips on how people can find their feet faster, and how companies can improve their onboarding plans.
A new job can be exciting, scary and confusing all at the same time. You’re going to meet new people, learn new things, widen your network and, often, earn more money. On the flip side, it’s up to you to settle into your new home and prove how good you are all over again.
The first few days are crucial to your success. It’s important to remember that being out of your comfort zone is ok. Everything may feel different but don’t put too much pressure on yourself; new things will soon become the norm.
Communication is the key, especially when you have a tough day. If things don’t go right, don’t be too quick to decide you’ve made a mistake. Take time to remember why you wanted to move in the first place, as the reasons will still hold true.
You can’t succeed in a job unless you know what success looks like, so make a point of finding out exactly what your manager - and the wider business - expect of you.
Set your own goals if required and be prepared to offer support to your new colleagues whenever the opportunity arises. This will help you to integrate and also give you a chance to show people what you can do.
If you spend enough time learning, building relationships and thinking about how you can drive value in your new role, you’ll be able to step up to any challenge and fit in with your new team from the start.
Whatever you do, don’t wait until a new employee joins your team before starting to make them feel at home. Help with their transition by keeping in touch throughout their notice period, invite them to social events and make sure they know how much you are looking forward to them joining you.
It can be lonely when you’ve handed in your resignation, especially if you’re moving to a competitor, so keep in constant contact from the moment you offer the job.
Day one is vital to building a strong, long-term relationship, so you need to be prepared and have a welcome plan in place.
Get the basics ready a week before their start date: a clean desk, computer, system logins, email, HR and payroll forms etc,
Invite them to start a little later than usual on their first day. That way you can remind everyone they’re coming and get your urgent work out of the way so you can dedicate time to support them.
Introduce them to everyone you can and assign a ‘buddy’ who can help them through the initial weeks. Try to make sure they don’t eat lunch alone!
When you start a new job, you’re never as busy as you’re used to being, so make sure you have plenty of things they can do from the off. No one wants to appear lazy, so pick out projects they can tackle independently and with colleagues.
At meetings, ask for their input and ideas to help them to feel part of the team and ease into the company culture.
As the weeks turn to months, make sure you continue to meet regularly. Check they’re happy but also get to know them as an individual. The more you know about their interests and motivations, the better your relationship will be.
It’s often the little things that make the biggest difference, so make sure you let them know you care.
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