Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2018 - 16

How to Roll Out the Welcome Mat
By Nina Redding
In 1950, Eileen Barton sang the hit
"If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd Have
Baked a Cake," which nearly 70 years
later echoes the sentiment about how
many organizations are welcoming
new employees. All too often new
hires are disillusioned on their first
day of a new job when they are met
with disorganization. After being
wooed in the hiring process, they
seem forgotten when no computer is
ready for them, their hiring manager
is "busy," and they are left to fend
for themselves. This breaks what
John Kotter deemed in 1973 as "The
Psychological Contract" between
what the organization promised and
what the new employee expected.
Since we knew they were comin', their
onboarding and orientation should
not be an afterthought.

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A simple recipe to make the new hire
feel valued and glad they joined your
company exists. When mixed together
properly, Dr. John Sullivan suggested in
"The New Hire Orientation Toolkit," it can
increase new employee retention by as
much as 25 percent. The learning team
at the Alberta Motor Association (AMA)
took the five basic ingredients noted by
Angela Heyroth in her research on the
"Best Practices in New Hire Orientation"
and whipped up a successful orientation
program that keeps new hires engaged.

1 Welcoming and Enfolding
The feeling of leaving a known place of
work for something new is often met
with mixed emotions from excitement to
worry, and sometimes dread. Designing
an onboarding/orientation experience
that welcomes the new hire and their
family before they start can alleviate
these emotions. It's easy to create a
celebratory atmosphere that raises
enthusiasm and makes people feel they

are a productive part of the organization
from the start.
This could be as simple as calling with
a friendly welcome and letting them
know what to expect on their first day.
Sending a "welcome package" to their
home before they begin with gifts to
share with their family includes them
in the celebration and builds support
for the new organization. Managers can
send an email that shows how glad they
are they joined the team, or include the
new employee on an email to the whole
team announcing their arrival and what
skills they bring.
Post personalized posters/banners to
greet them as they arrive, or have a
welcome card signed by their new team
waiting for them at their desk. Send them
an invitation to the orientation event
and present them with their name tag
or security pass to show you prepared
for their arrival. Give them a tour of the
building and introduce them to key


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2018