I’m all about creating a tremendous atmosphere in the office through just about any means.
It’s not always possible to get it right and to suit everyone, especially in the IT world where you get plenty of folks who just like to keep to themselves and get their work done whereas others like to involve a lot of socialising during their day. A little bit of effort though, is always going to pay dividends later – I strongly believe.
I think investing in some sort of welcome pack is a great way to set the tone right with new hires. Estee Lauder gives new hires a bunch of cosmetics in their welcome pack and it’s not cheap run of the mill stuff either. You may not be able to give your new hires your own product(s) for free but you could subsidise it, for example. Some companies go very far to get stationery items in their branding so giving your new hires a notebook, pen and a few other stationery items with company branding is also a nice touch. For new staff from out of town, perhaps a local guide and information on their new city would be great – and not just a regular map. I’m thinking recommendations from the team, like favourite hotspots, must-see attractions and places to go for the best coffee.
I also think where possible, a team lunch within the first week of the new person starting is also wonderful when trying to break the ice and get people to meet and learn more about each other. Food is always high on my priority list as it brings people together in special ways so a nice outdoor lunch on a terrace could be considered.
I know that if I joined a company where they made an effort to make me feel welcome as opposed to just handing me a 50 page handbook to read and sign, I’d feel a lot more at home. I’d like to feel that the company is happy to have me, is willing to invest in me and wants to see me succeed. I want to feel the company wants to continue to have reasons to keep me on board as opposed to simply looking for a reason to let me go.
In saying all of this, you have to see what fits your company based on industry, size and yes, your culture. Sometimes certain things are too radical and might rock the boat. And in some cases, this is a good thing! But it’s a case by case thing and it needn’t be expensive either.