We’ve started off the year with gusto at Business Chicks, adding three newbies to the team. Finding incredible people and integrating them into our family is what I love most about business. Over the past few years I reckon we’ve mastered the art of making people feel part of the team from the minute they walk in. Here’s what we did for Zoe, our new partnerships lead, when she started with us last week.
Little gifts with big presence: On Zoe’s first day we decorated her desk with a bunch of welcome balloons – the beautiful thing about this is that they’re still flying high a week later, so it’s a nice reminder to her (and to us) that she’s new and the sky’s the limit for her.
Stage the fun: So the balloons were on her desk when Zoe arrived, and then the day unfolded from there. We had flowers, champagne and chocolates delivered to her at mid-morning and then later on in the day we had an afternoon tea for her. If she didn’t know she was welcome after all of this, then I don’t know what else we could have done!
Leading from the top: I always make sure I write a card to every new employee that starts in our business. No one does this for me – I go out and pick a card that reminds me of the person and write a heartfelt message on it. I always have it waiting on the newbies’ desk when they arrive. It shows them that their being with us matters, and that I personally value them.
Get the team involved: We always let the team know the new person’s email address prior to them starting with us, and whoever chooses to do so can send them a note congratulating them on the appointment and welcoming them. That way, there’s already a level of rapport there and it’s easier to put all those new faces to names on day one!
Being organised: We always have the new person’s business cards ready for them from the minute they arrive. Not only does it send a message that we’re organised and on to it, but it says ‘we value you, and by the way – our standards are high and we expect you to hit the ground running.’ No one’s complained yet.
Let them be late: We always ask our new peeps to start a little later, say 9.30am, on their first day so we can make sure the existing team is ready and we can put any finishing touches to their welcome if needed. And anyway, first days are totally information overload and if you can reduce this time down a bit, then everyone wins.
Planning out the first few days: We always have a structured induction program mapped out for the first few days so the new team member gets a thorough introduction to the business and gets to spend time with the department heads or anyone else they’ll work closely with.
First impressions go a long way. Compare the above experience to a friend of ours that recently started a new role and had hardly one person on the floor introduce themselves, and you’ve got two very different experiences. And if given the choice, I know which one I’d choose!