This weekend marks the unofficial end to summer, and with it, moving season. While it’s understandable for HR managers to be glad to finally have so many of their new hires moved in and at work, these next few months are bound to be filled with ups and downs for those new employees. Kids starting a new school, getting acclimated to the office culture and expectations, building a new social circle – these are just some of the emotional stressors that can cast regret on their exciting new opportunity if they get too overwhelming.
That said, here’s a startling number: 86 percent of executives and staffing managers believe that an employee decides within the first six months of a new job if he or she intends to stay there. What you do to show these new employees that you care and understand what they are going through will surely be noticed by them.
Here are some ideas of how you can expand your onboarding process to make relocated employees feel at home:
- Broaden your mentor criteria: If you don’t offer some type of mentor/buddy program, it’s something more than half of new hires would like in their first week of work. But even if you do, is it limited to those with similar job functions? Try to find overlap in other non-work areas such as children, neighborhood or similar cultural background. This gives new hires a resource for many of the pressing questions they might not feel comfortable to ask in the workplace.
- Be flexible with work schedules: This obviously isn’t entirely up to HR, but relocated employees tend to have appointments and other needs (meeting with movers, visiting teachers, etc.) that might require them to be out of the office more than usual. The more flexible you can be toward these needs, the less stress they’ll feel trying to get everything done and making a good first impression.
- Stay in touch: Yes, do all the things you’re supposed to do the first couple days – go over company policies and the like – but also continue reaching out to new hires throughout their first year. Not only does it help clue you into any problems they might be having, it also shows that the company cares about them beyond their productivity.
It’s important to empathize with those new employees who’ve moved and are starting a new life in your city. Any effort you make to show you understand how big of a life event moving can be will go a long way with how they view your company these first few months.