Startup Tips for Welcoming New Hires


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No. 1: Host a Team Lunch

From Jordan Fliegel of CoachUp

Whenever someone new joins our team, we have lunch with the whole company. Then, we introduce ourselves one at a time. I’m sure this won’t scale over time, but it's a great way to break the ice and welcome someone new into a close group.

No. 2: Assign Them Employees to Shadow

From Andy Karuza of Brandbuddee

I spend time with the new hire and allow him to shadow me to see how I perform a task. Then, I turn it over to him and coach him through it. At the end of the day, I'll have a review with him and answer any questions that he has. It's important to let hires know you're engaged with them, and it's worth spending the time to train somebody right. Later, their efficiency will make up for it.

No. 3: Use the Buddy System

From Ted Murphy of IZEA

We have a buddy system. This means that during a new team member’s first week, he will be assigned to another team member in the same department. This gives the new employee the opportunity to learn the ropes, feel comfortable asking questions and have an instant friend.

No. 4: Give Them a Sense of Accomplishment

From Henry Balanon of Protean Payment 

Have new hires complete a project on day one. That will give them the sense of accomplishment from the beginning. It makes them feel that they are contributing to the team from the start.

No. 5: Send a Picture Guide

From Shradha Agarwal of ContextMedia

We send over a document with each team member's name, picture, interests and fun facts. This makes a new hire feel like part of the team even before she walks in on the first day and makes it easier for her to remember the new faces and names. We also have an all-company lunch to welcome them, which allows any team member to ask any questions -- even personal ones -- to break the ice.

No. 6: Encourage Lunch Meetings

From Chuck Cohn of Varsity Tutors

We strongly encourage all new hires to have lunch meetings with as many members of our company as possible. Those individual lunches allow them to better understand how our company operates and make friends in other areas of the organization.

No. 7: Take It Easy

From Russ Oja of Seattle Windows and Construction, LLC

We don't like to overload people at work on the first day. Typically, we introduce them to other team members -- even those they won't be working directly with. It's also important not to completely overwhelm somebody on the first day because they might miss some key points for future success in the organization.

No. 8: Share a How-to Wiki

From Robert J. Moore of RJMetrics

Our team maintains an ever-evolving “getting started” Wiki that is shared with all new employees on the first day. It explains the day-to-day policies for the office, as well as individual setup procedures for each department and team.

No. 9: Take Part in an Ice-Breaker

From Kuba Jewgieniew of Realty ONE Group

To welcome them to Realty ONE Group, we have their department take them out for a welcome lunch. This is a great opportunity for the team to get to know one another. We also try to learn a couple fun facts about the employee. It is a nice ice breaker and helps people loosen up!

No. 10: Throw Them Into the Deep End

From Suzanne Smith of Social Impact Architects 

Many people think it is better to ease people into a job, but as entrepreneurs, it is better to throw people into real situations. Employees appreciate being valued from day one, and as an employer, you truly see how the employee will perform under pressure.

No. 11: Make Them Commit to the Culture

From Susan Strayer LaMotte of exaqueo

With new hires, you have to ensure that they can perform and that they're loyal. Send a package to the new hire's home to welcome her to the company, and share company-branded swag to get her excited about the new job. Include a one-pager on your company values, and ask her to commit (by signature) to the values and how work gets done in your company before she even starts.