We all remember what it was like to be the newest employee. Those first day jitters, the worry that you won’t fit in, the overwhelming amount of new information to absorb and new processes to learn. It can be a challenging time and, if you’re eager to alleviate some of that stress by making your new coworkers feel welcome, these 6 tips can help.
1. Offer Them an Informal Tour: While HR will probably take care of a run-of-the-mill office tour to help them get their bearings, they won’t go over some key details that could make work life a little easier from day one. If you’ve been there a while, you know which printer always jams, which lunch spot delivers the fastest or never has a line even though their food is inexpensive and delicious, or the best time to approach your boss with a new idea. Sharing this insider knowledge will help your new coworker acclimate quickly and they’ll appreciate the time and effort you spent helping them get their bearings.
2. Give them Space During Their First Week: The first week is always the busiest, most hectic, and most frenetic of any at a new job. You’re starting to dive into the work you’ll be doing every day but you’re also finishing up onboarding paperwork, learning the history of the company and its project plans, and so much more. Because of this, you’ll want to introduce yourself to your new coworker but give them a decent amount of space during their first week. Let them know where you sit and that you’re available for any questions they might have, but don’t approach them during the workday too often because they’ll probably be feeling a little overwhelmed during their first week.
3. Lay the Foundation for a Strong Co-working Relationship: Once their first week has passed, offer to take them to lunch or grab a coffee or a drink after work so you can get to know each other a little bit better. Asking about their interests, getting a better idea of their skills and work style, and letting them know a little bit more about yourself and the team in general will make them feel welcome. This will lay the foundation for a strong co-working relationship.
4. Share a Story of a Mistake You Made and How You Overcame it: One of the most stressful elements of beginning a new job is the inevitability of making a mistake and having to overcome it or learn from it. If you have a similar story you can share, it may alleviate some of their stress and make them feel more welcome. After all, even though you messed up early on, you figured it out and found your way to success at the company and they can do the same.
5. Small Gestures Make a Big Difference: You’re probably a pretty busy person, most of us are, so you understandably can’t spend all of your time and effort making your new coworker feel welcome. But even the small gestures like saying hello in the morning and goodbye when you leave the office or inviting them to join you for lunch every now and then can really help them feel welcome and like they’re one of the gang.
6. Get Your Coworkers to Do the Same: While you utilize all of the previous 5 tips, your new coworker will really feel welcome if your other coworkers do the same. Include other members of your team on the lunches and coffee dates, make sure everyone introduces themselves, and ask others to follow suit in the small gestures. If everyone in the office is as welcoming as you are, your new coworker will feel right at home in no time.
We all remember what it felt like to be the new person in the office. Alleviate some of that nervousness, stress, and feeling like an outsider by following these 6 steps. Then, your new coworker will feel welcome and you’ll have laid the groundwork for an excellent co-working relationship.