Recently, we’ve seen some new faces in our hallways. I couldn’t help but wonder how they were acclimating to their new daily environment. Starting a new job is a daunting experience – those first few days are spent navigating the ins and outs of the office while learning everyone’s names and roles. It’s exciting, but also overwhelming, and at times, a bit isolating. Welcoming new colleagues and making them feel valued from day one helps set the tone for their overall employee experience.

Welcoming new colleagues and making them feel valued from day one helps set the tone for their overall employee experience.Click To Tweet

Here are five ideas for easing their transition:

Before they arrive:

(1) Send an office- or team-wide email announcing the person’s first day. Sounds basic, but communication goes a long way. Let people know where they’re sitting, what they’ll be doing and include some sort of anecdote (“Melanie joins us from the world’s coolest communication agency, Padilla” or “Melanie is a recent graduate of the world’s best college, Virginia Tech”). Existing employees can be more welcoming if they know someone new is coming onboard and have a conversation starter.

(2) Add a “Welcome, Melanie!” sign to their workspace where others can see it (except use their actual name and not mine). Colleagues now have an immediate, physical reminder that the person is new and know their name. Bonus: adorn their desk with branded swag (coffee mug, pen, notepad – anything with the company logo).

When they arrive:

(3) Buy an edible treat (donuts, bagels, etc.) to share with the office. Add a “Welcome, ________!” sign. It’s a great icebreaker for people to stop by the new employee’s desk and thank them for the treat.

(4) Gather a small group of people and take the new person out to lunch. Preferably somewhere yummy where they will not get food poisoning and will not have to call in sick on their second day of work (true story). Going out to lunch on the first day is a great way to make the new employee feel welcomed and special, and gives them the opportunity to get to know their coworkers outside of the office.

(5) Take them on an office tour. Point out elements of survival like where the coffee, bathrooms and Band-Aids are located. Offer to answer any and all questions along the way. As you see colleagues, make those introductions. This tactic works especially well for colleagues who may not stop by the new employee’s office on their own accord.

How do you welcome your new employees?

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