Looking for ways to effectively onboard new employees? Creating an unforgettable first-day experience for your new hires can better integrate them into the company.
Because no matter if it is their first time starting a new job or for the tenth time, we all still deal with new job anxiety and stress.
Sadly, most onboarding programs at companies are still focused on paperwork and offloading work tasks and responsibilities.
But telling your new employees what they should do and who to report to is never enough to integrate them into your team.
According to a report by SHRM, the first 45 days of employment account for up to 20% of employee turnover.
Not only does welcoming your new employees reduce their stress, but it can empower them early on and create a massive impact on their performance at work.
That’s why here are some fun ways to welcome your new employees.
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1. Introduce new hires to everyone over food
Employees who eat together stay together. Organizing a meal to introduce your new hires to the team can help break the isolation on day one.
It provides a light-hearted setting that can let everyone connect quickly and transition your new hires to become part of the team.
Between mouthfuls of food, everyone can get to know each other's distinctive personality traits and interests beyond work. Plus, treating the whole team to lunch or dinner will create a fun moment that can build stronger relationships and boost employee engagement.
2. Scavenger hunt to explore the office
Getting to know your new team and workspace is more effective when it is fun and interactive.
Hosting an ice-breaking activity like a scavenger hunt is one we recommend when you are onboarding several employees at once.
Not only can you pair new hires together in a group to encourage bonding, but more importantly, the scavenger hunt gives them a chance to make introductions and interact with existing staff members when asking for clues.
As they race around to various departments to find information, they can become more acquainted with the office layout and peers they’ll be working with.
For a fun twist, you can include a funny selfie or an interesting fact about your people or company culture so that it will be impossible to forget.
3. Gamify your employee orientation
Employee orientations are essential to introduce your new hires to the company policies and core values, but it doesn’t have to be a dull PowerPoint presentation.
Gamifying your orientation can make the learning process fun and encourage your new hires to participate in your presentation actively.
A quick example is playing the game two truths and one lie.
When introducing your team or facts about the company, you can use the game to promote interaction and convey information digestibly.
Another more straightforward approach to gamifying your orientation is asking your new hire questions about their work experience or lifestyle.
Similarly, this can help engage your new employees in the conversation while allowing your team to get to know them better.
4. Decorating workspace to encourage employee interaction
The work environment plays a significant component in an employee’s performance.
Creating a positive workspace for your new hires can affect the office atmosphere, so decorate the workspace with balloons and a welcome sign.
This will tell the message that the team is welcoming them with open arms.
Another trick is setting up snacks and drinks near the new employee’s workspace to increase their chances of interaction and engagement with existing employees.
Plus, you can also prepare a welcome message from your company’s boss telling them that they are excited to have them on board, which will certainly make for an unforgettable first day.
5. Give your new employees a welcome kit
Receiving a gift on your first day of work will make anyone feel that they are welcome.
So why not curate a welcome package for your new employees? It can be anything from healthy treats to office supplies that will motivate employees and set them up for success.
Better yet, it can be a box of personalized gifts branded with company logos and colors to make new employees feel like they are valued members of the team.
6. Implement a buddy program
A buddy program is another way to welcome your new employees and accelerate their integration into the company.
Involving your existing staff in the process of assimilating new hires can bring benefits that extend beyond the first week.
The system delivers value for both employees, building an immediate personal connection that can make it easier for employers to retain individuals.
However, there are essential criteria to consider when choosing the right onboarding buddy.
The person should demonstrate a strong job performance history in the new hire’s role and actual time to assist the new hire.
7. Have a happy hour session
Speed up the team bonding process by organizing social activities and events. This could be lunch, happy hour, a coffee break, or even a friendly badminton match.
This informal atmosphere is an excellent chance for your new team to connect and build strong interpersonal relationships.
New hires can use this opportunity to ask questions to fill in the gaps and get to know the different personalities in the team or internal company jargon.
Plus, it gives current employees a chance to welcome new team members without disrupting workflow and potentially busy days.
While you can introduce the team in a fun scavenger hunt or create a welcoming environment for your new hires, it is essential not to go overboard with a frenzy of activities.
Instead, choose only onboarding methods that fit your company and team.
But either way, make sure to put yourself into your new hire’s shoes to make sure your new hires feel special and excited to start their new careers at your company.
About Author: Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.