A large percentage of your success as a company depends on how well you welcome new employees. Obviously training them thoroughly and leaving your door open for questions are important gestures. But your goal should extend further than preparing them for the job—you want to make them feel like they belong. The more positive their first day/week/month is, the more readily they will integrate themselves and get to work.
If we’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: happy employees are hard-working employees. We get it, you hire individuals based on their potential contribution. But it’s vital that you communicate they are a valuable part of your organization because of who they are, not just because of what they do. Even small gestures like finding out their birthday and keeping it on file to celebrate or providing a welcome basket/wreath for their cubicle can make them feel special and instantly a part. Instead of leaving them to fend for themselves, introduce them to other employees. Give them a tour of the office, and let them in on any ongoing inside jokes or office traditions. Remember too, you don’t have to be the only one welcoming them (although leaders ought to set the precedence). Give them a mentor, to help them bond with fellow teammates and learn the ropes.
Making new hires feel welcome is not optional. Whether your company has 5 employees or 500, you are not above or below creating a memorable first day for your new employees. You need your team in order to accomplish what you do, so don’t take your new hires for granted. And don’t toss them into their new role without preparing them well and communicating to them that you are already grateful for and excited about what they will bring to the table.