Thankfully the New Employee Isn’t Drinking Your Espresso

Can you imagine coming home from the gym one day and there sitting at your regular spot at the kitchen table is someone you don’t even know enjoying an espresso, having just ground your best beans to make it?  

Only later do you find out that your roommate had invited this guest to stay for an entire week and that she will be sharing the same living spaces as you! Couldn’t your roommate have asked you, or at least told you?

These same feelings can occur when a new employee starts and your leadership hasn’t informed you. It may not be your decision who or when to hire, but employees feel disconnected to their organization when they see someone new and no one has even mentioned it to them. It makes the existing employees feel “less than” and it likely hampers their initiative to introduce themselves and make the new person feel welcome and comfortable. Now they see the newbie in the hallways, on a Zoom call, and on the distribution list and they wonder, “Who is this person and what is their role?” 

While some communication issues are hard to solve, this one is easy. Have a process and a checklist when a new employee starts, and follow it every single time. Here are some ideas to get you started:  

  • Announcement made to entire staff
  • Workspace prepared and welcoming
  • Computer and phones ready and working
  • Email set up and a welcome email message sent
  • Employee handbook distributed
  • Keys and passwords to doors, files, and programs given
  • Information provided about nearby available parking and places to eat

Likewise, when an employee leaves, under positive terms or not so positive, colleagues need to know. 

When I talk to leaders regarding why they failed to send these simple announcements I hear, “Well, we didn’t have their CV or resume handy, so we were waiting to get it.” Or, “She was leaving because her dad is dying and we didn’t know what she wanted us to say.” 

In these instances, your motto should be “Done is better than perfect.” While it would be best to have an official introduction about the new employee or unexpected departure, a brief acknowledgment is better than an uncomfortable surprise. 

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January 27, 2022

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