Support New Hires to Integrate Into Your Company Culture
- May 29th, 2012
- 11 Comments
The first few months for a new hire in the workplace are usually a mix of conflicting feelings. On the one hand they are excited and eager to prove themselves to their new employers, but at the same time they feel hesitant about their “fit” with the company. New hires’ learning curves are steep. They are both actively adjusting to the new culture while getting up to speed on their responsibilities.
Even though you were sure during the hiring process that your new employee could easily “fit” into the workplace, the new hire may not feel the same way right away. To be successful, employees need to feel they are an integral part of the company’s vision, mission and values system. If the cultural fit is missing, employees can become disengaged and dissatisfied before they have sunk their teeth into any significant work. As a manager, there are two primary things you can do to ensure that new hires immediately fit in with your company culture.
Schedule Lunch Dates
Encourage, and when possible, actually arrange casual lunch meetings between your new hires and their colleagues. Something as simple as lunch can help make them feel valued and welcomed. It allows the company’s values, traditions and cultural attributes to be communicated to the new hire via someone other than you or the company handbook. By engaging with current employees, your new hire is exposed to employees’ stories and perspective on what makes the company a great place to work. Lastly, lunch also allows for the development of professional relationships new employees will need throughout their careers. When employees feel at ease with their coworkers, they are much more likely to feel good about their professional role, their work and be eager to give 100 percent to you and the company.
Solicit Feedback Early and Often
We often think of feedback as something we give new employees to close the gap from where they are in their performance to where we want them to be. But during the onboarding process, approximately first 90 days on the job, you want to learn as much as possible from employees to improve their own and future new hires’ experiences. Solicit their feedback through questions such as:
- What have you most enjoyed during your first X amount of days?
- Where are you feeling strong?
- Where do you feel like you have room to grow?
- What can I do to support you?
Doing this periodically within the first few weeks and months will also create a culture where employees feel comfortable coming to you with ideas, for support, and when necessary, troubleshooting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexia Vernon is an author, speaker, International Coach Federation (ICF) certified coach, trainer, and media personality who specializes in helping organizations recruit, retain, educate, and grow their young professional workforce. In her book 90 Days 90 Ways: Onboard Young Professionals to Peak Performance, Alexia demonstrates how to achieve the goal of getting new employees oriented, integrated and trained within 90 days of their employment. As a member of Gen Y and with her unique approach to talent development, Alexia has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including CNN, NBC, Wall Street Journal, CBS MoneyWatch, FOX Business News, Forbes.com, ABCNews.com, TheGlassDoor.com, and Mint.com. To learn more visit www.AlexiaVernon.com and connect with Alexia on Twitter @AlexiaVernon.