In today's competitive hiring market companies must not only recruit top talent, but they also have to retain their new hires. This poses a challenge in a hybrid or remote work environment when many people report feeling isolated and lonely. In order to integrate employees into the organization and their teams, intentional and proactive efforts must be made to do this successfully when people are not consistently in the office together.
Below are three ways companies can ensure their new hires feel set up for long-term success.
Create a warm, welcoming environment for new employees by encouraging their team members to get to know them and be a resource for them. Longer-term employees should schedule one-on-one meetings to share their experience at the company and learn about the person who recently joined. Ideally, all levels of the organization should devote time to this (e.g., peers, direct managers, and senior leadership).
To stengthen the welcoming environment, encourage people to reach out multiple times throughout the first six months of their new colleague’s time at the company. These introductory conversations should lead to relationship-building rather than just being a one-off transaction. It’s essential for new hires to feel like they have a strong support system at work.
When teams are working remotely, it’s harder for people to pick up on the working style preferences of their colleagues. Assumptions must be made and habits are easily formed. To combat this, teams benefit from each person completing a “user manual” about themselves and sharing it with their colleagues. A user manual includes answers to questions such as:
My preferred method for communication is…·
Select one: I’m an early riser or night owl·
I operate at my best when…·
I’m actively working on improving [this one thing] about me·
People often misunderstand [insert assumption] about me·
One topic I could talk about all day long is…
User manuals are especially beneficial as teams bring on new hires. They allow the new hire to get a better understanding of their colleagues and they give the new employee the opportunity to feel understood.
Company-wide networking sessions are an excellent way to boost morale, encourage relationship-building, and foster an inclusive environment. All of these benefits are hugely positive for new employees who are often eager to meet their coworkers. The best networking sessions are structured with discussion prompts and small-group breakouts. Providing a purpose for the conversation and encouraging groups of 3 or 4 people to get to know one another leads to meaningful bonds.
Keep the networking sessions to no longer than one hour. These should be short, fun experiences that lead people to want more (which is why companies should offer these throughout the year!). Open the sessions up to anyone who wants to join, although there should be an intentional outreach to new employees because they will benefit the most from being introduced to new colleagues.