Welcoming new team members to your department is normal at the CSU. New staff may take their place if co-workers retire, leave for any reason, or get promoted out. New people coming on board can take some use to for all parties involved.
To help ensure a smooth transition, let’s see what current staff can do to welcome and build a rapport with their new team members.
What Difficulties Do New Employees Face?
To better understand what existing Unit 4 employees can do to welcome new colleagues, it’s first important to reflect for a moment on what new staffers are going through when they join the CSU.
- They’re excitedto be starting work in a new place, gaining new challenges, and developing their careers.
- They’re nervousabout being surrounded by total strangers, all of whom are already familiar with the campus and department and how things work there.
- They’re eagerto make a strong first impression on their first day and get off to a good start with their new colleagues and supervisors moving forward.
- They’re anxiousabout entering a new workspace and may not be familiar with a university environment, culture and procedures.
- They’re likely overwhelmedby the position in front of them from the job scope discussed in the interview.
Excited, nervous, eager, anxious, overwhelmed — that’s a lot of conflicting emotions happening all at once. So, let’s consider what the existing staff can do to help ease the transition and make those nervous but eager new colleagues feel welcome.
To Help Welcome and Build Rapport with New Colleagues, Existing Staff Can…
Help stock their desk/office with everything they’ll need
It’s a great feeling for a new employee to arrive at their workspace to find that it’s pre-stocked with everything they’ll need: stationery, paper, computer, Internet connection, chair, files and folders, desk organizers, and more.
Don’t forget that there are other things they’ll need that should be set up in advance, like their company email, business cards, and access to any shared folders. Having these things created before they arrive or within the first few hours of arrival will ensure they can hit the ground running. While you may not be responsible for setting things up, you may be able to help facilitate a work order to get it done.
Take them on a campus tour
You’ll have time for a more detailed meet and greet later (see below), but why not kick off the day by taking them around the department and the campus and showing them where everything is? It’s great for a new employee to be clear about where important office features are and how to use them. On top of that, they should get a brief chance to meet and say hello to their colleagues.
Some important things to include on the tour are where to find their supervisor’s office, the bathroom, the kitchen where they can store their food or make a cup of coffee, break areas, the copier(s), HR department, stationery storage, and emergency exits.
Organize a proper meet and greet at lunch
When new people are starting, why not have a small meet and greet event at lunchtime in your break room? You could let existing staff know they can drop by and say hello or join you for lunch. It will allow new people to chat with everyone and get to know who does what.
Show them around the surrounding area
If they’ve worked in the area before, they might know what’s around your campus, but if not, show them around. Many CSUs have nearby malls, restaurants, and other amenities. Let them know where they can get good coffee, which places offer good lunch spots, where people hang out after work, and so on.
Give them a solid but achievable task to start
When it’s someone’s very first day, it’s hard to find really solid work for them to do to fill up all the hours. As a result, most of the first day can feel like they’re just reading orientation materials. While this has merit, what really helps is if the team can offer up an important but achievable task that will make a new employee feel more valuable on their first day..
If you know when someone is coming on board, then the relevant team and manager can get together to create a task for the new staffer to complete.
Mention APC and local stewards
Share APC with your new colleagues and who the stewards are on your campus. You can let them know the stewards will be reaching out to them to share more about the union and how they support Unit 4 members. You can always find your local campus stewards here. Check when your next campus meeting is and invite them. Remember, we are stronger together.