How to Welcome and Train New Staff During the Hectic Holiday Season
Under ideal circumstances, new employees would always begin work during a week or month when training resources and warm welcomes were readily available. New employees who arrive for work on the first day should have plenty to do and plenty of oversight. When they run into trouble, they should have someone to turn to for help, and they should feel recognized, welcomed, and valued beginning on day one.
But during the holiday season, new hires sometimes find themselves adrift. Sometimes they arrive during a week when trainers or managers are on vacation or unavailable. And depending on the industry, the end-of-year rush can leave a new employee at the very bottom of a manager’s list of priorities. But work doesn’t wait. Here are a few ways HR mangers can get a new employee up and running despite the divided attention that sets in during this time of year.
First, know that she’s coming. If the new employee is scheduled to begin on Tuesday and her manager won’t be back in the office until the following week, make sure that at the very least, she has a desk. Take the time to show her around and introduce her to her coworkers, even if that would otherwise be her manger’s responsibility.
Second, preach patience and self-direction. Don’t let the new employee panic if he has nothing to do. But once you’ve told him when things are likely to pick up, step back and let him find his own way. He’s an adult, and now is an excellent time for him to take responsibility for his own impression. Give him general guidance and keep him from making lasting mistakes, but otherwise, let him find his own feet.
Finally, encourage absent managers to delegate responsibility for the new person and leave clear directions with those who will temporarily oversee him. His boss may be on vacation, but if she knows he’s coming, she should have a short term project ready to assign to him and a temporary mentor in place.