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How to Give Your New Hires a Sense of Belonging?

Being the ‘new kid’ in a workplace can be lonely and overwhelming. You often don’t know anyone, aren’t overly familiar with business practices, and may not even yet know how to navigate the building you now work in. It’s easy to feel like you don’t belong.

While these feelings can dissipate with time, business leaders are in a strong position to prevent new hires from feeling this way in the first place. If you’re eager to help create well-adjusted new hires, you may give them a sense of belonging by taking these actions:

Providing a Consistent and In-Depth Onboarding Process

Many business leaders adjust their hiring and onboarding process based on the job type. For example, you might perform a background check and multiple interviews for a full-time employee in a management position but just one interview for a part-time receptionist.

Consider providing a more consistent and in-depth hiring and onboarding process to make all employees feel as though they’re all important. This can mean giving the same building tour and support packages to those working casual or part-time as you would for those in a permanent, full-time position.

Being Personable

Many new hires can find people in positions of leadership a little bit scary or intimidating. You might not mean to be unapproachable, but your role within the company may have that effect. Some new employees can feel more comfortable and adjusted to their new professional surroundings when their employers take the time to be personable and share personal information about themselves.

You don’t have to share your private life’s inner workings, but even sharing commonalities can be an excellent start. For example, if your new hire says they have children, you might share the names and ages of your own children. If they say they have pets, you might ask questions and share details about your own pets.

Reminding Them Why You Hired Them

A new hire may not yet understand a business’s practices, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the skills you need or aren’t as skilled as their counterparts. They just need time to adjust. You may help your new employees feel like they belong by reminding them why you hired them. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to try this.

For example, you might request that another employee delegate a task to the new employee because they have a background and experience in that area. The more you bring up a new employee’s knowledge and positive traits, the more confident they might feel in their abilities to perform their job to a high standard.

Hold Regular Check-Ins

Many business leaders can be involved in hiring a new employee from start to finish. Once they’re successfully hired, they’re nowhere to be seen. However, you can be a different type of business leader. Hold regular check-ins with your new hires for the first three months of their employment.

Ask about how they’re finding their new job and if there’s anything they’d like help with. These regular check-ins are also an excellent opportunity to get to know new hires on a more personal level. The more time you spend with your employees, the more appreciated and looked after they may feel.

Create a 90-Day Plan

Even if you’ve decided to check in frequently during your new employee’s first three months with your company, it also doesn’t hurt to create a 90-day plan. This plan can essentially be a road map for them to learn the ropes and meet everyone they need to meet. It can also include accomplishments and milestones you expect them to achieve. The early days of working for a new company can be challenging, but a plan with achievable goals may give them an early sense of purpose and belonging for faster and easier integration.

Assign a Mentor

You might have hired your new employees, but that doesn’t mean you have enough time to give them your full attention while they learn the ropes. Be there to introduce yourself on their first day and allocate time for regular check-ins, but assign a mentor or ‘buddy’ for the time in between when they’re learning the ropes.

The mentor you assign can be the ‘go-to’ person for any queries, questions, or concerns. Choose someone familiar with all facets of your business, personable, and eager to help new employees find their footing.

Most new hires will never feel entirely comfortable on their first day or even during their first weeks working for a new company. However, you may foster a sense of belonging early on by taking some of the actions above.