Welcome Gen Y To Your Workplace

Jan 7 13:27 2009 Kim A Huggins Print This Article

Your new Gen Y employee will be arriving in the next few weeks.   Do you have an orientation and acculturation plan in place? 

Congratulations.  You’ve completed your recruiting process and your new Gen Y employee will be arriving in the next few weeks.  But wait,Guest Posting are you ready for them?  Do you have an orientation and acculturation plan in place?  If not, you need to.  Research has shown that companies who prepare for and provide a well planned acculturation process make a good first impression and are more likely to retain their new employees. 

As a consultant, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into organizations and heard horror stories of new employees arriving on their first day only to be treated as though they were not expected.  These stories include:  the new employee sitting in the lobby for over an hour while the receptionist tries to track down their manager who forgot today was their first day or the new employee who arrives only to sit in an empty cubicle for two weeks with no phone or computer.  Imagine how you would feel.  What would your first impression be? 

If you are a member of Gen Y, born between 1982-2000, it probably won’t be long before you start your job search all over again.  You see, this generation has high expectations of the workplace and the first day on the job sets the tone.  Its important then, not only for Gen Y, but for all employees to be prepared and make them feel welcome. 

Following are some suggestions for acculturating new employees into your workplace.

Prior to their arrival:

·         Ensure that you have identified where your new employee will be located and ordered the necessary equipment well in advance.  This includes:  phone, computer, office supplies, security badges, business cards and other associated items.

·         Identify and schedule any necessary training they will need.

·         Schedule a payroll and benefits orientation.  Prepare package with associated forms.

·         Establish a schedule of meetings for them to make introductions with their key stakeholders: peers, customers, direct reports, etc.

·         Identify a “buddy.”  This should be a peer that they can go to lunch with, ask questions and will help them get acclimated to the organization.  It’s a nice touch to have the buddy contact the new employee and introduce themselves prior to their arrival. 

·         Put together a “welcome package” for them.  Include items such as:  organization charts, lists of department employees and/or customers, site maps, key phone numbers, where to eat, activities/clubs to get involved in, and anything else you can think of that they would find useful. 

·         Schedule someone from the department to take them to lunch every day during their first week on the job. 

·         Touch base with them a few days before their arrival to establish time and location of their first day and answer any questions. 

·         Have the supervising manager put together a two week look ahead schedule of the projects and work tasks that will be assigned to the new employee.  This will give them an immediate sense of worth in the company without overwhelming them.

When they arrive:

·         Assign someone to greet them and take them to their office location. 

·         Share their schedule for the first few days. 

·         Give them the “welcome package” and go through it with them. 

·         Introduce them to their buddy. 

·         Take them on a tour of the building or facility.  Show them the key places they need to know.

·         Make sure that their manager is available on the first day and has carved out time to spend with them. 

·         Have the manager review the two week look ahead schedule and review the work that will be assigned to them. 

·         Set expectations:

o   Work hours

o   Dress code

o   Use of company computer

o   Use of personal items (i.e.:  cell phones, text messaging)

o   Other important policies and procedures

·         Check in with them regularly to answer questions and make sure they are alright.

Remember, a new employee is new for more than just the first day or first week.  It takes time to get established, build relationships and feel comfortable.  It’s important to stay connected and keep the lines of communication open.  Yes, it sounds so easy and basic but often it just doesn’t happen.  A positive employment relationship can start off on the right foot through good planning and implementation.  Give these suggestions a try to improve your acculturation process and ensure that your new employees are happy to be there. 

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About Article Author

Kim A Huggins
Kim A Huggins

Kim Huggins is the President of K HR Solutions, LLC based in Harleysville, PA. Her company offers services in the areas of organizational effectiveness, leadership development and team dynamics.  Kim is a nationally recognized trainer and speaker on the topic of Generational Differences and a Gen Y advocate. www.khrsolutions.com

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