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5 Things That Eased My New Hire Nerves [Onboarding Tips]

August 15, 2017

Recently, my colleague, Trevor, wrote a blog post with suggestions for how an organization can welcome their new hires. As a new hire here at PSI, I thought I would weigh in on the matter by sharing what made me feel welcome, even before my first day. I hope you'll find these on-boarding tips helpful!

When preparing for my first day at PSI, I was incredibly nervous and anxious. I knew I wanted to come in and make a great first impression, but I was entering a new environment and wasn’t sure what to expect. Luckily, I was joining a company comprised of I/O psychologists, and they quickly eased my nerves.

Below are the top five on-boarding activities PSI did to ensure I felt welcome:

1. Welcome Email

Even before my first day on the job, my co-workers made me feel welcome. About a week before my official start date, my team leader sent out a company-wide email telling everyone that I was coming on board. In the email, she provided a brief biography about me and listed a few of my relevant accomplishments. This gesture alone made me feel more welcomed. However, it was the follow-up emails pouring in from other employees that put the cherry on top. Dozens of my future co-workers sent me an email to congratulate me and welcome me to the team. Receiving these emails let me know that they were just as excited as I was to be joining the team.

2. Learning Checklist

In my experience, when starting a new job, the first few days are the most stressful and can be, at times, overwhelming. There’s so much to learn, and sometimes you’re not even sure where to begin. However, on my first day, I was provided with a learning checklist. The learning checklist provided me with informative topics and products and services that would be important for me to know to be successful in my role. In addition, I was provided with details on where to find the information as well as an assigned mentor who could help me further my understanding and answer any of my questions. The learning checklist was a great tool that helped me become oriented with PSI’s services and provided me with a clear starting point.

3. Interdepartmental Meetings

In addition to the learning checklist, it was arranged for me to meet with each of the department heads and to job shadow members within each department. During these meetings, I was provided with an overview of the roles each department plays within the organization. This experience also helped me better understand how PSI operates as a whole. Furthermore, I met everyone within each department and now know who I should reach out to with questions or concerns.

4. Team Lunch

My team also arranged for me to have lunch with my new teammates. This was a great opportunity for me to get to know the individuals I would be working with most closely. When it comes to successful team functioning, having open communication and being able to collaborate with one another is key. Having an initial get together like this helped set the stage for positive functioning.

5. Goal Setting

If you’re like me, when starting a new job, you want to start making meaningful contribution right way. Nothing is worse than feeling useless. However, when you’re new to the job, it can be difficult figuring out where to get started. In my first week, I sat down with my team leader and together we set both short and long-term goals. Setting these goals provided me with a road map for how I could begin contributing and being productive.

Properly on-boarding employees is critical. The first few weeks sets the tone for how the employee will perceive the company and his or her role within it. For me, it wasn’t the fun decorations and toys left on my desk that made me feel the most welcome (although they certainly didn’t hurt), it was the enthusiasm and kindness others showed me as well as being provided with the tools, resources, and support needed to be successful in my role. 

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Cassandra Walter Cassandra Walter is a Consulting Associate located at PSI's Pittsburgh office. She holds a master's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She works with clients across many different industries, including manufacturing, retail, customer service, and healthcare. Her areas of expertise include providing training and support for PSI’s applicant tracking system, as well as assisting clients with requests and questions regarding tools and processes.