10 Tips to Help a New Employee to Adapt to the New Workplace
Onboarding can be an overwhelming process not only for the incoming employees but also for the company. Proper onboarding and training can feel like a mountainous task that is both difficult and intimidating. But the reality is that by following ten simple tips, you can make it much simpler not just for yourself, but also for your employees. The tips we will cover will help your employees adapt to your company culture swiftly and will allow them to become productive and reliable members of your team.
Focus on the company culture and environment
When it comes to preparing someone to join your team effectively, the first thing you will need to do is introduce them to the environment where they will be required to work in. By explaining and, more importantly, showing them how things run in the team, you ensure the new members will know how to approach their fellow collaborators and team members. During this part of the process, you will need to be honest about what the company expects regarding attitude, collaboration, and even dress code. These might seem like small things, but they will make the transition that much easier for your new employees as they will be able to adapt to the new culture immediately.
What many companies fail to do successfully during the training and onboarding processes is set up expectations. While you certainly don't want to make your new employees feel utterly pressured by the environment they are entering, you will still want to try and pinpoint the most significant expectations from employees and inform your new team members of them. The expectations should include not only the assessment criteria and performance ratings expected but also what is expected by active collaborative members.
For example, in some cases, it might be an expectation that team members will have to attend some seminars or team-building events. These are important to note from the start, as they will make your employees feel more acclimated and know what is expected of them.
Ask them about their expectations
Training and onboarding are not just about what you expect from your employees, but also about what they look to gain from this position. Being open and answering their questions can be particularly important here. Based on your employees' expectations and general outlook, you might also make some changes to how you proceed with training or how you handle interactions so that they can feel more relaxed and welcome. In general, being open is usually enough for employees to start feeling more comfortable and worry less about fitting in, as it shows that the company and team are welcoming and accepting of new members.
A big part of setting expectations is also letting your employees know honestly what the job prospects of their work are if they ask. One thing that many companies do that employees do not appreciate is lying about the job prospects for the position the candidate is applying to. While you might feel that by lying, you are providing them with hope and making them feel happier about their prospects, the reality is that ultimately it will leave your new employees disappointed as they will not know exactly what they are working towards.
On the other hand, setting up clear job prospects means that your employees will adapt faster as they will know which steps they will need to take to improve and climb up the career ladder.
Set up clear tasks and training for job skills and requirements
It might sound shocking, but 6 out of 10 employees say they never received proper training about the skills they would need to succeed in their workplace. While this shows poor training quality, it, more importantly, means that for the first few weeks, your employees will have to try and learn how to swim in deep water. Put simply, it means that instead of them adapting immediately and becoming effective team members, they will instead have to spend the first few weeks trying to figure out what is expected of them.
Training is where you can change that. After receiving proper instruction on what will be required of them and what tasks they need to complete, your employees will be less worried about not knowing what to do and more focused on interacting and joining your team efficiently.
Welcome the newcomers without creating a hierarchy
A common trope in the workplace is that the newer employees are often treated as subpar because they are newer members who might not have developed the necessary skills for their job yet. However, this should be avoided as it essentially means that your employee will always feel like an outsider instead of being allowed to adapt and join the team.
Not only should you avoid putting yourself above the new employee - you should also foster a company culture in which the rest of your employees also never put the new employees down because of their lack of skills, knowledge, or experience.
Mentorship and Communication
Adapting to a new position can be challenging, especially if you don’t know whom you should reach out to when you need help. There are two different things that you can do to mitigate those problems. The first and easiest thing to do is actively encourage communication within your team. By creating proper communication avenues, you will encourage your newer employees to reach out to more experienced colleagues whenever they have a question regarding their work. While these communication avenues will not always be used frequently, they create a mentality of support within the company. Feeling supported can be key to adapting faster and feeling comfortable with the team.
On that same note, you can also create a mentorship program for newer members to join up with more experienced colleagues. This program will help foster a relationship between the new employee and one of the more experienced team members and allow them to always have a reference point for what they need.
Feedback is important for all employee members, but it can be particularly crucial for those members who have just joined the team. Essentially, this will help them know how they are performing and how well they are completing the tasks they are responsible for. Whenever you give feedback, make sure to acknowledge the work that the team members have done, as that can help them feel more appreciated and therefore, more welcome in the company. The feedback will also help them develop a proper understanding of what other adaptations they will need to make to be successful members of your team.
Apart from the individual training you should also arrange team meetings and bonding workshops. By introducing new team members to your entire team early on, you will give them the opportunity to feel more comfortable and form connections from the start. Remember that the first days of training are not just about employees being introduced to the work that they will need to complete. They are also about employees getting introduced to the entire company and work environment, and there is no better way of doing that than by introducing them to the entire team.
Help them succeed early on
Early successes and wins can help encourage your employees and make them feel more confident not only in their work but also in their sense of belonging within your company. When new team members are first introduced to your team, you should help them get some of those early team wins and individual wins so that they can begin to feel a bit more like they are part of a whole. For teams, it is always much better if they can succeed together as it will help everyone interact better in a collaborative way rather than in a competitive sense.
New employees have a hard task as they need to learn all of the skills and tasks that they need to complete each day. At the same time, they have to adapt to a new company dynamic and team culture. To help them succeed, you will need to encourage your employees by providing them with feedback and direction. Setting up clear expectations can also be key to clearing the pathway to success for them and helping them become more engaged members of your team early on.