How to Communicate with New Employees

Bringing new hires into the fold takes work.

New faces shift the office dynamic at first, and you’re leading the charge in their on-boarding. How do you use open communication and expectations to give your new employees a good start? Here are some ways that feel small, but set the bar high.

Greet Your New Employee

This is a simple but important way to establish open communication with your employee. If you walk past new employees without acknowledging them, they could feel underappreciated. You should always greet your employees when you see them in the morning. This is one small step that makes them feel seen and heard. Even if they seem engrossed in something, a quick wave or nod their way conveys your recognition.

Teach Them Your Language

You should encourage your employee to ask questions about the workings of your company. If you don’t, they may feign understanding, which will slow their productivity. Your new hire won’t know the ins and outs of your company acronyms, for example. Be conscious of this and explain terms as you go. And until your new hire gets to know the others in the office, names can be as abstract as acronyms. When your new hire sits in on a call with Aaron, they may be thinking: is he a client or a coworker? Which office is he in? Will I be working with him a lot or a little?

It’s better to give your employee too much information. To help them even further, give them a notebook so that they can keep their new work information in order. A quickly jotted note about an unfamiliar term can be a great reference point down the line. The first few weeks of any new job are information overload; give your new hire a place to parse it.

Be Transparent

Transparency is a favorite company buzzword—but is your team acting on its promises of transparency?

You want your employees to rely on you. But if you project the persona that you have every answer, you’re breaking trust rather than building confidence. You are more knowledgeable than your new employee—and they know that. Your new hire will already be looking to you for guidance, both about the position and the company in general. In return, you should let them know your goals as their manager. Show them that you want to foster their growth at your company, and tell them about your plan to do so. Transparency can avoid unruly expectations and distance; you aren’t super human, and mistakes will happen.

By being up front with your plan of action, you encourage more open conversations across the board.

Challenge Them to Think About Your Performance

Having one-on-one meetings with your employees is an excellent way to keep communication open. As you both prepare for these meetings, ask your employee to think on your performance as their manager. If you pull out the “What can I do better?” card during a one-on-one, your employee is going to be hard pressed to voice their thoughts. Instead, ask them to bring one positive and one negative for you to consider. If you’re open to this and don’t go on the defensive, you’ll be in a great position to get feedback. Additionally, by reacting positively in these situations, you give your employee the confidence to talk about difficulties without the threat of backlash.

Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of Sentiment

Even with these habits of open communication in place, your employee can feel intimidated—it takes time to feel accepted in an office space. Most new employees will say “yes” more often than “no” in order to prove their worth. You should give them a space to voice their concerns to someone outside the company sphere. By gathering third-party feedback from your new hire, you can improve your on-boarding process and reduce new hire turnover. Call (800) 295-1863, or contact us, at HSD Metrics® to learn more about how on-boarding surveys could help your business.

About Deb Dwyer

Deborah Dwyer is the founder and president of HSD Metrics. With over 30 years of combined experience in human resource management and survey research, Deborah’s extensive knowledge reaches beyond organizational research to include significant expertise in work climate improvement, retention, hiring and selection, employee orientation, performance management systems, recognition programs, and career development systems.

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