How Managers Should Support Their
New Hires in Their First Year of Work

See also: Mentoring Skills

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, companies everywhere have a hard time finding and keeping top employees. The Great Resignation, as it’s been dubbed, is the eye of a storm where employees want better pay and better working conditions.

It costs time and money to find that perfect fit for an open position. You invest a lot of training into your new hires. Figuring out how to support them and make the experience an excellent one may make a difference in how loyal they are to your company.

How Should I Train New Employees?

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported 11.2 million job openings, with the largest increases in transportation, warehousing, utilities, arts, entertainment and recreation. Finding the right fit for an opening may be like striking gold. You want to do everything in your power to onboard them successfully.

The first year is a time of developing relationships and establishing roles. You can show employees you’ll support them through new tasks, personal crises and whether you value them. Here are some top ways you can support new hires in the first 12 months they’re with you.

1. Onboard Effectively

An organized and detailed onboarding process familiarizes employees with your company and their tasks. Ideally, you’ll have a series of courses they can take in person or online that goes over company policies, such as time off and rules.

However, you should also work on making them feel welcome when you onboard. They should know you’ve been looking for them and that they are the right fit. Gather the team they’re working with and have donuts their first morning. Let them know you’re there for any questions or concerns they have.

2. Explain Benefits

Workers are often advised to not leave anything on the table when it comes to taking advantage of the perks of working for a company. You’re likely aware that benefits are in addition to your base salary and include things such as flexible spending accounts, healthcare, paid time off (PTO) and retirement plans.

If your new hire doesn’t fully understand the many perks of working for your company, they may assume their base pay is too low. Should they choose to interview elsewhere, you want them to know the full scope of their employment package.

3. Assign a Mentor

It isn’t easy to start at a new company. Friendships are already established, and everything feels new. Depending on personality, some people may struggle with self-confidence at first. Assigning a mentor to your new hires gives them an instant connection and a safe space to ask questions and brainstorm goals.

Choose the right people to serve as mentors. You want to select leaders who understand the department inside and out. They should also be warm and caring with gentle suggestions rather than harsh admonishments.

Understand that all personalities don’t mesh. If a mentor/mentee relationship isn’t thriving, you can match the new hire with someone new.

4. Educate on Company Culture

Perhaps you worked hard to develop a particular culture in your company. Anyone new you add to the mix can change the way your business functions. A great way to support new hires is to explain your company culture to them.

What are you passionate about? What things are taboo? How can they jump into the daily scrum meetings or send out praise to a coworker? Think about the little and big things you do for your employees daily and make sure the latest employees understand what’s possible and why you do things the way you do.

5. Recognize and Reward

Unfortunately, mental health is a struggle for employees at various times. Perhaps they’re burnt out from juggling too many tasks or they feel overlooked and overwhelmed. Whatever the cause, recognize and reward your employees to show them you understand and care.

An extra day off, giving them a three-day weekend, is a reward almost everyone appreciates. It also gives them a break from the everyday grind so they can take care of themselves and refill their creative well.

A few words of praise, a small reward or even just a pat on the back can spur new hires to do their best. They’ll see where they’re succeeding and feel more confident in their new role.

6. Take Them to Lunch

Get to know your new hires. Invite them to lunch and talk to them about their family, hobbies, pets and things that interest them. Find out what their hopes and dreams are in their new position. Do they want to work their way into management? Share the steps they’ll need to take to get there.

Did your new hire just get in a minor car accident on the way to work? Make sure they have a way to get to work while they wait on repairs. Send them home for the rest of the day and let them know you want them to have some time to de-stress from the situation and you’ll see them tomorrow–assuming they have no serious injuries.

Invest in people like they are fellow human beings and they’ll repay you with loyalty and a passion to learn and help your company grow.

7. Provide Feedback

Have you ever started a new position and felt uncertain for a while? Are you meeting expectations? How can you improve? Take the time to pull new hires into your office frequently when they first come on board. Talk to them about what they’re doing great. Come up with a list of goals for things they should learn in the next month or two.

Heap on the praise first and then point out perhaps one thing they should do to improve or a new skill to learn. All feedback should be constructive.

Use the Golden Rule

Treat others the way you’d want to be treated. Put yourself in the new hire’s shoes. What would make you feel welcome? What tools would you need to do your job effectively? Make sure the person knows they’re valued and will get raises and move up in the company and they are much more likely to stay with you for years.

About the Author

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.