Remember your first day on the job? How tricky it was to find everything? How hard it was to remember everyone's name? How you wondered about your new colleagues and the new culture?
Well, if you have a new employee in your midst, extending a helping hand to him or her will be very appreciated. Even in the hectic rush of a nurse's work day, just doing a little bit to make the employee feel welcome gets everything off to a good start and makes your organization's professional culture shine.
How can you make a new employee feel good about accepting a job in your organization? Reach out on your own or get your team involved. Either way, making the effort is what makes the difference. Here are five ways to get started.
1. Use Names
Learn the employee's name and use it frequently, both to help you remember it and to help others remember it. Of course, everyone appreciates it when others remember and use a given name, but it's also a good ice breaker. And for a couple of days, it helps to tell her yours again. You can say something as simple as “Hi, Mary! I hope your first day went well. We met yesterday after Sue introduced us. I'm Linda.” Now you have helped her connect the people to the names and you have helped your own memory as well.
2. Ask About Interests
Work is always foremost, but get to know the newcomer. Don't pepper him or her with tons of questions, but asking a few things here and there, and then remembering the answers, is a great way to make someone feel included. A safe bet is usually something like kids, pets, hobbies, or any classes they take. You might find something in common, too.
3. Make Your Organization Look Good
Everyone wants to know they made a good choice, so talking up the positive points about your organization will help ease any worries if they are there. Talk about the quality programs, the staff appreciation, the mentoring opportunities, or even the best day for lunch at the cafeteria.
4. Extend an Invitation
Even if your lunchtime (if you even take one!) is time to catch up on errands, invite anyone new in your department to join a few coworkers for a quick lunch or even an after work gathering. Create an opportunity to make a new employee feel included, and they will relax into the organization and appreciate your efforts. You might even find the excuse to bring everyone together is welcomed by the entire team.
5. Give a Few Pointers
Is your company a stickler about something specific – how things are stored or recorded? Do you have an exact hand-off routine that is expected? Don't leave the newbie hanging. If you can offer a few pointers (taking care to say nothing about coworkers or anything that could be construed as gossip) about how the organization does things, you will save potential confusion or embarrassment and let the employee know everyone on your unit looks out for each other.