Onboarding: Advice from a Newbie

Kenora Dagon, Intern


Whether it be a new town, a new school, or a new workplace, we’ve all been the newbie. A certain level of nerves and concerns always come with these types of transitions; wondering if you’ll fit in and be accepted by the others. We all hope to quickly and smoothly be incorporated into an establishment. The way you act toward and integrate a new hire is crucial to establish the feelings they have towards their job for the remainder of their time at your company. It goes beyond just evaluations and lists. Equally important is the small, less obvious things you do for your new employee that make the difference.

From the very first interview, a business sets the tone for what the work environment and culture will be like at the company. The way you carry out the conversation can either excite or deter a potential new hire from the position. Fashioning the interview to be more like a conversation rather than an interrogation can leave the interviewee daydreaming of being a part of your team. Adding nice anecdotes or personal facts relaxes the anxious person and allows them to take a breath and get to know you too. The interview can be the determining factor on whether the highly qualified candidate picks you or your competitor.

After the job has been accepted comes another crucial aspect - the welcoming. Having just joined a new company I can attest to the fact that the way a team receives you can completely ignite and inspire creativity. Simple things like sending a welcoming email to the staff with a little bio of the hire makes them feel acknowledged and better assimilated. It allows all employees a platform to express their greeting as well as for the newbie to start recognizing names and roles.  A quick and easy paragraph is all you need to help a new employee feel at home.


Furthermore, while a new hire knowing to ask questions is seemingly a given, reiterating that questions are encouraged is key when adding a new person. As a newbie, the biggest fear is not living up to a resume or an interview and because of this they can be too intimidated to ask questions. Instead, they feel a pressure to figure everything out on their own. When they are constantly reassured asking questions is welcome, this anxiety goes away and they are timelier and more efficient at their work. The freedom to ask questions enables individuals to know exactly what the desires and expectations are and therefore, they can hone in on accomplishing those things rather than wasting time mulling over different ways their boss might want something done.

One final aspect that can be very helpful in smoothly integrating a newbie is setting them up with a sort of mentor or buddy. For me, receiving a phone call from a colleague during the first week I was hired gave me a more confidence and a better understanding of the work culture.  Having a person on a similar level not only sets the individual up with a friend but also someone they feel like they can easily turn to for any small questions they don’t feel are necessary to bring up with the big dogs.

The typical protocols when onboarding a new hire are extremely important in better ensuring retention, quality of work and efficiency of employee. But focusing also on the little things can alter an employee’s experience and understanding of a company. Investing just a few extra minutes doing these simple but effective things, makes for a happy and well adapted newbie.