Starting a new job can be difficult. Most of us have been there before.
It really doesn’t matter how experienced, or how skilled you are. When you walk into a new work environment for the first time, it always feels as if you are starting over at square one.
How do they do things here? Am I going to click with the rest of the team? Did I make the right decision in coming here?
A great leadership tip for managers is that you can do a lot to dispel these doubts. In fact, one of your important roles as a leader is to bring your new team members into the fold as quickly as possible. This is especially true of small businesses, where having a cohesive team and retaining your top talent is a key to survival.
An excellent way to do this is to send them a creative and brilliant welcome email that really expresses who you are as a leader and what your company is all about. This simple business tip can help get your new team’s members feeling confident and enthusiastic to be a part of something unique.
What your welcome email should convey
In most cases, a company will send new starters an email that tells them a good deal of important, nuts-and-bolts information.
This is definitely a good idea. Sending this information can accomplish many things, such as confirming their start date, letting them know what their first day will entail, who to seek out when they arrive, and who they will be meeting with over the course of the day.
Some important leadership advice, however, is that you will also be setting the tone for your new team member—for good or for bad.
A great way you can establish your credentials as an effective leader is by making your very first communication one that is welcoming and down to earth. This leadership tip is one that will pay you great dividends. By doing this, your new employees will feel like they can jump right in and get to work—not having to worry about tripping over some silly corporate protocol that will incur the wrath of their aloof and pedantic new boss.
Another leadership tip is that the welcome email also gives you the opportunity to make a human connection right from the outset. And this can be extremely important in creating greater team cohesion.
I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. Below is a sample Welcome Aboard email that I copied straight from the web:
Subject Line: Welcome Aboard
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the accounting department at XYZ Company. I enjoyed talking with you last week, and am looking forward to seeing you on April 19.
When you arrive, you’ll see Nick at the reception area. He’ll take you to get your ID, show you your workspace, and introduce you to the rest of the staff. We’re looking forward to working with you.
Welcome to the team!
So okay, this is fine. It establishes the start date, tells Jake that he needs to meet up with Nick and that Nick will take it from there. There’s nothing wrong with any of this.
Only, as an employee, I know that this exact same email (only with different names and dates) goes out to everyone who joins the company. It says welcome aboard, but that’s not really what it’s really conveying to me. The message is more like, “Get to work faceless accounting drone.”
You may argue that in a larger corporation, where you’re bringing in new hires all the time, that’s all you really can do. I beg to differ, and I also think that effective team building is just as important in that scenario … but that’s straying from the point a bit.
Regardless, here’s a tip for small business, where every team member is clearly critical. A welcoming email can accomplish so much more. And it really doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, or fancy. It just has to genuinely say Welcome Aboard. This is how I would say hello to Jake.
Subject Line: Welcome Aboard!
I’m really looking forward to you joining our accounting team next week. Just to make it official, your start date is going to be April 19.
When you arrive, you’ll see Nick at the reception area. He’ll get you going with everything, and also introduce you to the rest of the team. I would be there myself, but I have a meeting in the morning that I can’t get out of. Still, I’ll drop in and say hi at some point and make sure you’re getting settled in.
One other thing, I was looking over your resume again before I sent this out. I just noticed on your Hobbies and Interests that you are a serious rock climber. We have a lot to discuss!
Welcome to the team!
To begin with, I know I use a lot of exclamation points. Trust me, I don’t do this in all of my business writing. But when I’m talking to a member of my team, especially a new member, it’s important to me that I get across my enthusiasm for what I do and allow that excitement to be infectious!
Notice too that this email still gets all the same information across, but also genuinely says Welcome in the process. There are just a few extra sentences that accomplish this, which took about thirty seconds to write.
My speech in this email is also down to earth and conversational. I have replaced “Dear” with “Hello.” I write very close to the way that I actually speak. That way, when people read my emails, they feel like there is a real person who is taking the time to have a genuine interaction.
The next thing I want to point out is that I’m not just pushing everything off on Nick. I, too, am interested in making sure that my new team member has the things he needs to do his job effectively.
The last point is that I am making a connection. And it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the rock climbing bit. It’s more that I took the time to look over his resume again.
By looking more closely at his background and what skills he possesses, I am showing that I have an interest in him as a person. I could have just as easily said that I noticed he had done some web design as a college intern and that he might be able to develop that skill a bit further working for me.
The important thing is to never underestimate the importance of any business communication. Your new hires have gone to tremendous lengths to make a good impression on you, and apparently, they have. Now it’s time to reciprocate and show them that you are genuinely excited that they are going to contribute to the success of your team.