- Begin the familiarization
Instigate procedure that will enable new staff members to become familiar with important features of the organization and its administration. For example, newcomers should:
- undertake a guided tour of the company, particularly those areas with which they will have most contact, such as the administration area, storeroom, staff facilities, reprographics room.
- meet formally and socially with staff colleagues, especially those with whom they will be working closely.
- read relevant documents guidelines, such as the staff handbook, policy guidelines, safety instructions, annual reports, and the like.
- be briefed on procedures, including office or factory routine, record keeping, assessment, channels of communication, committee structures, and staff development.
These activities best take place before the newcomer officially takes up duty in the organization.
- Create a supportive atmosphere
What is needed are managers and experienced staff members who are committed to being available to help newcomers as needed. Those who unite to meet the needs of beginners develop in that process structures of collegiality and collaboration that will also serve the organization in other ways. Foster a warm climate of support
- Explain the job
Outline the exact work to be done and how the work fits into the overall activities of the workplace. Do not make it sound too difficult at first and don’t overburden the new arrival with too much information and too many rules. At the start, provide tasks that are readily accomplished to ease the recent arrival into the new job.
- Appoint a mentor
An experienced employee who is asked to serve as mentor or buddy for the new arrival provides the newcomer with friendship and open access to a colleague’s expertise. Consider the support a mentor can provide:
- Teaching the newcomer about the job through coaching, conversations, and demonstrations.
- Guiding the newcomer through the unwritten rules of the organization and recognizing group norms.
- Advising about the quality of expected work and the nuances of company policies and procedure.
- Counselling the newcomer if stressed, lonely, or in conflict with others.
- Sponsoring or giving stature to the newcomer in negotiations with others.
- Role modelling by providing an image of the effective professional or worker to which the newcomer can aspire.
- Validating over time the newcomers goals and aspirations.
- Protecting the new arrival by being a buffer to the hazards of the company.
- Motivating by providing feedback and encouragement.
- Communicating openly with the newcomer so that all the other behaviours can be effective.
- Schedule visits to other areas of the workplace
One the employee has established reference points as to what it is like to be a worker in your organization, structured visits to other departments can then be scheduled to enable the newcomer to observe how experienced employees handle specific issues and tasks.
- Visit the newcomer’s workplace regularly
Practical advice from experienced colleagues during the early days is best based on the newcomers own experience. Therefore, arrange for regular visits with the aim of helping and working alongside, rather than judging or inspecting, the new employee. Give genuine feedback.
- Provide assistance in identified areas of need
Research reveals that beginning employees commonly face similar problems in a new work environment. Work with newcomers to pinpoint and remediate their specific areas of need, whether they be personal or professional in nature.
- Make them feel important
Most newcomers feel uneasy, nervous and out-of-place at first. Take time to greet them personally on their first day. Show an interest in them. Make them feel the company genuinely needs them. Ask questions and invite questions. Be sincere.
- Provide opportunities for review and discussion
Show interest in the employee’s progress through, firstly, formal sessions to review progress and to address concerns and, secondly, through informal discussions in a relaxed setting. Be generous with your comments, supportive, honest and sensitive, and let newcomers know that their efforts are appreciated.