HR Matters - HR for Business

Onboarding New Team Members – Practical People Solutions

welcome signage

So you have found the perfect new team member and they have accepted your offer! Congratulations! But now what? First impressions count when starting a new job and you want to ensure that your new team member feels welcomed to your team and has all the information and support they need to be successful. The last thing you want is for them to go home at the end of their first day worried that they have made a mistake in joining your business. So how do you ensure that not only their first day, but their first few weeks set you all up for a successful and long lasting working relationship?

Here are some key tips:

1.  Ensure their workspace is set up before they start. This includes ensuring it is clean and tidy, has all the tools/equipment that they need, any safety gear is ready for them and personal space (lockers, desk etc) is already allocated. Check that everything works properly! Nothing makes a new employee feel less welcome than not having their own space ready to go. 

2.  Welcome them to the team by introducing them to everyone. Take them on a tour of your premises and ensure they meet everyone working there. Even if they may never work with them directly, it’s critical that they meet everyone and that your existing staff meet them. 

3.  Have a formal induction. You don’t need a fancy PowerPoint or a big production but you do need to ensure that you spend the time giving them an insight into your business. This includes:

a.  Your business history

b.  What you do and how you work

c.  Your business structure

d.  Who your clients are

e.  What your vision, mission and values are

f.  Key policies and procedures

g.  What their job is and the expectations of them

h.  Safety information

i.  How you will communicate with them (including how they will get paid)

j.  Provide them with any logins and passwords that they need

k.  Have them complete a new starter checklist as a record of everything they have been shown/given

4.  Provide on the job training. Don’t just send them to their workspace to “watch the person next to them” and wish them luck. This will annoy not only your new team member but any other existing employees. Book in someone to spend time with them to provide practical, hands on training to do their role.

5.  After all is this is done on their first day you then need to have regular follow ups over the next few weeks/months to check how they are progressing and answer any other questions.  

6.  Be social – have a morning tea, lunch or welcome drinks to allow your new team member to get to know everyone else not just as colleagues but as people. Set the standard in the first week for what your culture is like so that they feel like they are in their new home. 

Starting a new team member correctly is one of the keys to a long and successful working relationship. In our next article we will discuss the importance of the probation period and how you can manage that effectively. If you need assistance with your onboarding process, please contact Katrina Haynes on

About the author:

Katrina Haynes is the founder and Director of K Haynes HR – HR Matters. Katrina works with SME’s to provide practical people solutions to minimise risk and maximise profit. Providing outsourced HR and workplace improvement services, Katrina specialises in Human Resources strategy, benchmarking, governance & compliance, recognition & reward, recruitment and DiSC personality profiling. Coaching business owners, Managers and HR teams, Katrina tailors solutions to assist individuals and organisations reach their full potential.

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