In any organization, when a new employee arrives, their first few interactions with their supervisor are key to success. The first days can set someone off on the right foot with an instant feeling of connectedness or leave them out in the dark without a clue as to what they are doing and who they should talk to. To ensure you set any new person up for success, think through how you create a positive first impression with your workplace by setting clear expectations, sharing information, and collaborating with the whole team.

Once, I arrived to a new job and had to search for someone to point me in the right direction where my office was, and it took three days to meet my supervisor, even though we worked in the same room. I asked what I could focus on and was handed two large binders and told to read everything and be prepared to answer any questions on the subject. Despite my eagerness to work in this new location, I was clueless on my expected work and simply began asking around to people who’d held a similar position on what the job entailed. Over time, I built a rapport with both the boss and my teammates, but it was hard to shake that first impression.

Set Expectations Before Arrival of New Hire

To avoid turning someone off upon their arrival to your office, start communicating well before they start. Upon the thumbs up on the hire, reach out to the person headed your way. Start to explain the expectations and what the job entails. This gives them an idea of what is required. Work to ensure more than just a simple handshake welcome is prepared. Think back to when you arrived; even speak with the newest arrival asking them what worked and what did not. Getting a fresh perspective will help you build a better understanding of all written and unwritten job expectations. This immediately helps a new person fit into the culture.

Err on the Side of Over Communication

In the initial weeks over share information on what is going on within the organization. They not only want to know how it might impact them but more than likely, how they can help. Ask and ensure they understand new policies or procedures. This demonstrates their understanding of their new workplace.

Work and establish trust with your new employee. Hold meetings with your direct reports following management meetings, as it allows them to get information right away. If they do not hear it from you, they will hear it from another source. Most people would rather have the information on possible changes, even if it is only 80% of the known change, sooner rather than 100% of the change late into the game.

Collaborate on All Platforms

An online environment provides numerous tools for collaboration and introduces a new person to their teammates. Using multiple platforms helps to enhance and reiterate communication to newcomers. Use of emails, social media, online videos, and virtual events all assist as methods of building a team. These platforms also provide your organization’s mission, vision, and highlights what is important.

When combined with a feedback mechanism, you can create tools to better refine your communication processes for the new person arriving to your organization. People who provide feedback and participate should receive a reward, challenge coin, or recognition for their effort.

Everybody wins

New employee communication works best through setting clear expectations of the work required, sharing information immediately upon arrival, and collaborating through multiple tools with the whole team. By committing yourself to a warm welcome, for your new employees, the payoff is substantial. A lasting good first impression allows employees to move faster and further, with less effort and time.

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Candice Frost is an active duty Army officer and a leadership consultant. Her work in intelligence on the Army Staff provides her unique insights on the highest levels of leadership in DoD. She is a public speaker who focuses on mentorship and leader development. She lives in Washington, DC and can be reached at