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How to Make New Hires Feel They Belong? It's important to allow the newcomer, a certain amount of freedom to express and contribute

By Kinzal Jalan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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It is seen that entrepreneurs who are progressive pay careful attention to their employees. A common thread being, they all realize that people come before so-called processes and technology in laying out the success graph of their organization.

Talent acquisition and retention is actually one of the most critical aspects determining the fate of any company. As you bring in new recruits to your organization, it's important to pay careful attention to the onboarding process. A brand new environment can be disorienting for anyone and it should be the duty of not just the HR department to put in an effort to integrate the new members. It should be collective team endeavor to create a welcoming healthy environment for new hires.

This is much needed to create a first impression that is encouraging and also instrumental in nurturing a sense of belongingness towards the organization as a whole.

Here are some of the ways you can welcome new hires as a part of the work family and encourage their best performance -

Share the Vision

For an individual to blend in a new environment, he or she needs to understand the prevalent culture and direction the organization as a whole is navigating towards. It's important to bring out a feeling of shared purpose and build a sense of belongingness for the new recruit.

Sahil Vaidya, co-founder & Director of The Minimalist, a leading design digital and advisory firm, explains, "We always try to orient new people with our vision- and also try to make them realize the larger agenda so that they know why they come to work everyday." A connection with the larger purpose always draws out the best from any individual.

Build An Open Environment

It's natural for anyone to feel overwhelmed in a new surrounding. The whole feeling of confusion, about who to get in touch with for the smallest to the biggest matters, to simply what's going on. These small things can make a person feel really out of place, and if it continues for long, lead to productivity leakages.

Vaidya says, "At The Minimalist, we have tried to create a very open and energetic culture which allows new joinees to blend in seamlessly." His being a service-oriented industry, the most important asset are people, with whom they make it a point to integrate well.

Having someone to go to in case of problems spells big relief and helps a person settle in smoother and faster. Taking new recruits on an office floor tour, introducing them to the team members and a few people on the floor are some of the ways to break the initial ice. It helps reduce the initial hiccups in approaching people. This is also the reason why most progressive companies assign a 'buddy' to new recruits as a part of smoothening the onboarding.

Freedom To Commit Mistake

It's important to allow the newcomer, a certain amount of freedom to express and contribute. If you are hiring a talent, it's a good idea to let them bring their creativity to the table instead of just nurturing a robotic pattern of work.

Aditi Chaurasia, co-founder of Engineer Babu, an award-winning IT solutions company shares, "We hire individuals for their attitude and train them when required with any specific skills needed. Once we have our people on board, we show trust, allow them to perform and give them the freedom to commit mistakes."

With that, Chaurasia makes complete sense. If you're hiring good talent, it is only intuitive to allow them to use some of their wisdom. Giving new recruits the freedom to express often generates better outcomes and builds confidence. This very freedom enables them and makes them want to put in their best. In turn, their belongingness with the organization and feeling of a shared purpose manifests better. Of course, having said that, it is important to regulate that freedom and steer it in the optimum direction.

Sometimes, in spite of doing all the above, there might be a gap between our perception and reality observed by the other, which needs to be addressed.

Seek Feedback

Often, when we are doing our best, we assume everything is resonating with the other individual. However, it is important to seek feedback and fix any problems before they solidify.

It's a good idea to check with the new recruits initially if everything is going fine with them. You could inquire about how their day went; anything that they felt is a cause of concern or if they need something.

Showing your concern about their comfort level also makes them feel valued. This helps leave a good impression of the new job, which has lasting implications on performance.

Kinzal Jalan

Freelancer, Entrepreneur India

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