How to onboard new employees in a coworking setting
Most of you may already be familiar with the concept of ‘onboarding’ within the workplace. The practise of actively introducing a new employee to the expectations and culture of your company is widely encouraged across all industries as, from an HR standpoint, it leads to increased retention of valuable employees.
Coworking environments are perfect for onboarding new employees. The social structure from which coworking offices have been founded should make it easy for new starters to get up to speed and understand what is expected of them in their new roles. However, if you are unsure of where to begin or if onboarding is a completely new concept to you then fear not. We’ve put together a list of fantastic ways to successfully make your new employees feel at home in no time.
1. Create a new members’ group
If you have more than one new starter, it might be worth creating a member group for them to join as soon as they get the job. This can range from something as simple as a message group all the way up to a weekly meeting.
By doing something as simple as this, you are giving your new colleagues a list of contacts they can engage with on both a social and professional level from day one. They can then use this group to ask questions, flag concerns and possibly formulate new ideas.
As an administrator, you can utilise this new members’ group to touch base with new starters and begin understanding their needs as employees. You can even assign senior mentors to these members who can perform regular check-ins every now and then until your new starters settle in.
The idea is to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for those entering your company and to not let them slip through the cracks, no matter how busy you are!
2. Empathise with your new employees
Do you remember starting your first job? Were you left to your own devices on your first day? If so, would you want anybody to feel the same way in your business?
Consider the feelings of your new employees on their first day. They may come across as the epitome of confidence during their interview but they may find their first day in the office to be quite a nerve wracking experience. They may forgo asking important questions for fear of embarrassment, questions which could mean the difference between a strong start or a rocky first week. Try to relate to how your new employee may be feeling and work towards making them feel more welcome.
Understanding your employee’s needs is essential, especially if you want to avoid losing highly skilled, educated workers. Talya N. Bauer, a professor of management in Portland State University, has previously referred to these needs as the Four C’s; Compliance, Clarification, Culture and Connection. Each should be covered when dealing with your new employees and they should be fully aware of what each entails by the end of their first week.
3. Empower new members in their new environment
Coworking is all about collaboration. Being able to easily bounce ideas off others who are sharing your environment is an amazing perk which you don’t get in some workplaces.
Those entering the workplace for the first time should not be exempt from this. On their first day, ask your employee to help donate three new ideas to a project you’re working on. Even if they have no clue what the project involves, this will introduce them into the kind of work your company does and show them how they fit into the grand scheme of things.
It also gives them a sense of identity within the business and should drive them to deliver in their role. Responsibility can be a key motivator, especially for those who are just starting off and are looking to impress.