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human resources


Our days are rushed and our communications often terse, so when somebody shows up for their first day at work – a highlight moment for them – managers are too often oblivious to the newcomer's needs.

Proper orientation begins by being wordy, says California-based consultant Bill Main on

"When it comes to educating team members about their new workplace, offer as much information as you can," he writes. "Pretend new hires are reporters. Give them the most impressive and enthusiastic tour possible."

Put faces to the names of people in your organizational chart where possible. Instead of letting managers hide in their offices, involve them directly in the orientation on issues related to the new employee's work.

At the same time, don't overwhelm the person with a blizzard of information in one day. Spread it out, allowing him or her to mix some hands-on work with the policy reviews and paperwork.

Mr. Main was writing in a publication aimed at the restaurant business, so he stresses the importance of being hospitable. "Don't wait until an employee leaves to celebrate them. Celebrate the new hires, too," he said. Put their photo on the bulletin board, and consider a party once a month to welcome all new employees.