12 Tips for Helping New Hires Become Part of Your Organizational Culture:
1. Make the new hire feel comfortable.
People feel a little awkward on their first day of work. They’re suddenly thrown in with a new group of people, in a new environment, probably learning new tasks, and all that’s riding on it is their financial future, and possibly their family’s.
2. Get them comfortable with their surroundings.
No one wants to ask where the restrooms are or wander around trying to find the break room. Show them around their new workspace.
3. Make introductions.
Take them around and introduce them to everyone they’ll have daily contact with.
4. Assign a buddy.
If you won’t be with them all day, make sure they have someone that can show them around and keep them company.
5. Make sure they've got someone to sit with at lunch.
Is there anything worse than walking into a lunchroom full of strangers and having to decide who to sit by? If you can’t have lunch with them, plan it so someone else does.
6. Listen to them.
You’re going to have to do a lot of the talking during orientation, but make sure to listen when they speak. We all have a deep psychological need to be listened to, and it naturally makes us feel good when we’re being heard.
7. Have them do some customer service.
By doing customer service, new hires create a bond with customers, learn how basic customer problems get solved, and how your company communicates with its customers.
8. Show new hires how culture guides real decisions.
Show them how the company’s culture and core values helped make decisions in the past. Ideally, some of these would be high-level decisions, and some would be smaller day-to-day decisions. Give them an example for each core value - it will help values become much more than idealistic words on a page.
9. Get new hires connected before day one.
Help your employees meld with your work culture by getting them connected to your company on social media from the day they’re hired.
10. Play a team-building game to help break the ice.
There are dozens of team building activities that are appropriate for a business setting. Pick one that you think is suitable and get the team involved on day one.
11. Find new hires who fit in with your culture.
In his book "Setting the Table", restauranteur Danny Meyer talks about questions he'd ask to get a sense if people were compatible with his style. His questions included:
- "How has your sense of humor been useful to you in your service career?"
- "What was so wrong about your last job?"
- "Do you prefer Hellman's or Miracle Whip?"
There are no necessarily right or wrong answers to these, and these might not even be the questions you should be asking. The idea, as Meyer notes, is to figure out if they're a fit for your culture. So you need questions that are related to your company's style.
12. Build a private social network for your company.
New hires can log in, get caught up on what employees have been talking about, and get in on the conversation when they’re ready. Facebook groups already have this functionality. Just make sure to set your group to private.
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