12 top tips: how to help a new employee succeed

You’ve drawn up the job description, you’ve advertised, you’ve interviewed and now your new starter is due to arrive. Taking on a team member is a big investment. How can you make sure they thrive in their new role?

People who have a positive experience of their first few weeks will understand the company better. They will make stronger connections with colleagues, helping them settle in. A good introduction to the firm creates higher job satisfaction, boosts commitment, improves performance, and lowers stress.

So what are the key pointers for helping a new starter to succeed? 

  1. Don’t wait for them to turn up. Send a welcome message, greeting them and giving clear information about where to go and what will happen on their first day and week. 
  2. Provide a copy of any employee hanbook in advance so they can be prepared with key information. 
  3. Plan the induction process. Give the new starter information about their role and goals, as well as company policies and processes. Explain how their post links to the immediate team and the wider business. 
  4. Identify relevant training and get it set up before they arrive. Have a clear plan. 
  5. Work out what the recruit needs to know and when. Don’t go into unnecessary detail – avoid information overload.
  6. On their first day, a tour of the building is often a good way to start. Show them where they will sit, where to get supplies, where the loos and kitchens are. They should feel confident finding their way around the new space. A tour is also an opportunity for brief introductions to colleagues. 
  7. Make your expectations clear. What do you want from your new starter? What do you want them to achieve, in what timeframe? Set clear objectives and goals.
  8. Create connections. Set up opportunities to meet colleagues and find out about their roles. This could be a series of 1-1 induction meetings, job shadowing, mentoring, or attending events and meetings.
  9. Don’t restrict this to the immediate team – links across the organisation spark ideas and relationships that benefit the employees and the company.
  10. Offer a new starter a workplace buddy – someone who can be a source of information and advice for their first few weeks. It’s an opportunity for your existing team member to develop their skills. 
  11. Encourage them to ask for help. Make clear it’s a good thing to speak up. Explain who is the best person to go to for information about different issues and prepare their colleagues to be ready to assist. 
  12. Set regular check-ins. Encourage your new starter to share their feedback and help them to stay on track. 

Getting those first few days right will help your new starter to feel connected and to be a success in their role.