The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons. Email your questions about best practices for starting up and/or managing a small business to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No. 1: Host a Team Lunch
From Jordan Fliegel of CoachUp
Whenever someone new joins our team, we have lunch with the whole company. Then, we introduce ourselves one at a time. I’m sure this won’t scale over time, but it's a great way to break the ice and welcome someone new into a close group.
No. 2: Assign Them Employees to Shadow
From Andy Karuza of Brandbuddee
I spend time with the new hire and allow him to shadow me to see how I perform a task. Then, I turn it over to him and coach him through it. At the end of the day, I'll have a review with him and answer any questions that he has. It's important to let hires know you're engaged with them, and it's worth spending the time to train somebody right. Later, their efficiency will make up for it.
No. 3: Use the Buddy System
From Ted Murphy of IZEA
We have a buddy system. This means that during a new team member’s first week, he will be assigned to another team member in the same department. This gives the new employee the opportunity to learn the ropes, feel comfortable asking questions and have an instant friend.
No. 4: Give Them a Sense of Accomplishment
From Henry Balanon of Protean Payment
Have new hires complete a project on day one. That will give them the sense of accomplishment from the beginning. It makes them feel that they are contributing to the team from the start.
No. 5: Send a Picture Guide
From Shradha Agarwal of ContextMedia
We send over a document with each team member's name, picture, interests and fun facts. This makes a new hire feel like part of the team even before she walks in on the first day and makes it easier for her to remember the new faces and names. We also have an all-company lunch to welcome them, which allows any team member to ask any questions -- even personal ones -- to break the ice.
No. 6: Encourage Lunch Meetings
From Chuck Cohn of Varsity Tutors
We strongly encourage all new hires to have lunch meetings with as many members of our company as possible. Those individual lunches allow them to better understand how our company operates and make friends in other areas of the organization.
No. 7: Take It Easy
From Russ Oja of Seattle Windows and Construction, LLC
We don't like to overload people at work on the first day. Typically, we introduce them to other team members -- even those they won't be working directly with. It's also important not to completely overwhelm somebody on the first day because they might miss some key points for future success in the organization.
No. 8: Share a How-to Wiki
From Robert J. Moore of RJMetrics
Our team maintains an ever-evolving “getting started” Wiki that is shared with all new employees on the first day. It explains the day-to-day policies for the office, as well as individual setup procedures for each department and team.
No. 9: Take Part in an Ice-Breaker
From Kuba Jewgieniew of Realty ONE Group
To welcome them to Realty ONE Group, we have their department take them out for a welcome lunch. This is a great opportunity for the team to get to know one another. We also try to learn a couple fun facts about the employee. It is a nice ice breaker and helps people loosen up!
No. 10: Throw Them Into the Deep End
From Suzanne Smith of Social Impact Architects
Many people think it is better to ease people into a job, but as entrepreneurs, it is better to throw people into real situations. Employees appreciate being valued from day one, and as an employer, you truly see how the employee will perform under pressure.
No. 11: Make Them Commit to the Culture
From Susan Strayer LaMotte of exaqueo
With new hires, you have to ensure that they can perform and that they're loyal. Send a package to the new hire's home to welcome her to the company, and share company-branded swag to get her excited about the new job. Include a one-pager on your company values, and ask her to commit (by signature) to the values and how work gets done in your company before she even starts.