The Awkward Welcome: A Tip From The Manager’s Answer Book

He was excited about starting a new career and a new job. Yes, this first assignment was short term, but it was work in a new field and he looked forward to the experience. 

He knew where to go, but had no further information so he emailed the principal with his questions: Where do I park? What about the teacher’s lounge? What about lunch – is there a place to leave it and eat?  

He arrived the first day, went to the classroom and met with the teacher he was replacing for the semester. The kids were still on break, and the morning was devoted to meetings for teachers and staff. When they broke for lunch, a group of teachers, including the one he was replacing, left to go out. No one asked him to join them. He ate his lunch alone. 

Manager’s Tip:  This is not exactly the type of experience you want your new employees to have. You want it to be warm and welcoming. A question posed in The Manager’s Answer Book is “I want to do a better (onboarding) my team. Do you have any suggestions?

One thing we suggest is: Consider having one of your current employees reach out to the new hire before the first day. Not only does this provide a sense of welcome, but it allows for a collegial relationship to form even before the start date. The last thing you want the new hire to be worrying about are things like “Should I bring my lunch, and if so where can I put it?” – like in our opening story – or “Will my cubicle have a place where I can lock up my keys or purse?” If you turn to page 82 of The Manager’s Answer Book, you’ll be able to read the entire answer.

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