5 great ways to integrate new starters

Integrating a new starter is important to ensure they feel they belong and can settle into their new role quickly. They may have much to learn about the job on top as well as the people they will be working with. For many, this can be a nerve-wracking and uncertain time.

For this reason, a range of steps can be taken to enable them to introduce themselves and get to know their colleagues.

1 – Introduce them to everyone
A great move is to give a new starter a tour of the office and make sure they meet everyone. This will include both those who will be working directly alongside them, as well as others they may not meet as often.

These introductions may help break the ice, but avoid the error of assuming that they will subsequently remember everyone’s names, as not everyone has a memory that good.

2 – Give them a platform
The newcomer should be given an opportunity – with prior warning – to address their colleagues, either by sending an email around telling them a bit about themselves, or doing so verbally in a team meeting. It may be a good idea to give them the option, as shy people might be less willing to stand up and speak before a bunch of strangers.

It is important to avoid putting them on the spot, however; there may be aspects of their lives they don’t wish to reveal much about and areas of sensitivity and potential conflict that may be best avoided, ranging from their personal lives to their most deeply held beliefs.

3 – Socialise
It is always good when staff can have social events, either formal work parties or just a culture of going out for a drink at the end of the week. This can be a great way of getting to know a new colleague outside the office environment.

Once again, however, be cautious about pushing a newcomer into anything they may not feel comfortable with. A boozy Friday night out may well be their idea of a good time, but it might also be something they would avoid like the plague. Therefore, it is important to find out what they do and don’t like.

4 – Involve them in an important work meeting
Integration is not just about making someone feel at home socially. A sense of ownership and involvement will help them engage with the job. A great way to do this is to let them sit in on an important meeting, even if they are not directly involved. This way, they can get a better understanding of what the company is all about and its aims.

5 – Company values matter
Finally, it is important to ensure that a new starter is swiftly taught the company’s values and mission statement. This is important to ensure they can quickly focus on what matters to the firm, but it also gives them a compass to steer them through the day, ensuring they don’t do or say anything themselves that might be contrary to these values.

Image courtesy of iStock/AndreyPopov