How to Welcome New Employees

Learning how to welcome new employees and make them feel at home.

You needn’t extend a red carpet, but following these five steps will make your new recruits feel at ease.

Learning how to welcome new employees and make them feel at home.

Staff turnover is a constant challenge in business and a company’s success often depends on managers’ ability to find and train the right staff. But even if you’ve found your next superstar, the job isn’t done yet. Sometimes the hardest part is making the newbie feel comfortable, confident and productive. We asked the experts for tips: Daniel Watt, senior manager of human capital for the B.C. division of PricewaterhouseCoopers; Gary Wagenheim, adjunct professor in SFU’s Faculty of Business Administration and Mark Andrew, regional vice-president and general manager for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.

Emphasize corporate culture

All of our experts agree on the need to make sure you emphasize corporate culture when hiring and training a new recruit. The key isn’t just finding “the right person for the job,” Wagenheim suggests, “but also the right person for the corporate culture.” A yoga-wear retailer may look for someone who personifies its laid-back vibe, for example, while a law firm may seek someone with more of a hard-nosed style.


Prepare a job description

A formal job description is crucial at all stages of hiring. It helps managers know what they are looking for and it acts as a road map for the person filling the position by providing clear expectations, says Wagenheim. Watt agrees, but warns employers to be wary of strict guidelines; a formal job description “is a good starting point, but I don’t think it’s an end point,” she cautions. Watt ­advises stepping back from rigid boundaries to include general roles and guidelines in the job description.

Personalize training

When bringing in a new employee, try to adapt your training to their personality, recognizing their individual strengths and weaknesses. “The best way to introduce anybody certainly depends on who that anybody is,” says Andrew. “Some people like to learn through manuals; some like on-the-job training.” It’s all about finding what works best for the individual.

Make new employees 

Watt comments that many organizations “are good at a formal orientation but need to take the next step to that integration component.” Something as simple as discussing break times and informing the new hire of the weekly potluck lunch can make all the difference. Andrew’s advice is simple: “Ask questions.” Being a little inquisitive when getting to know your new recruit will help you learn how best to make them comfortable.

Enlist the help of the outgoing 

While a manager should be taking the reins when helping a new employee to integrate, Wagenheim says that help from the exiting staff member could be “invaluable and beyond what anyone else in the office could offer.” While no two employees will do a job exactly the same way, Andrew advises that someone with experience can share “what they see as success in the job,” which is priceless.