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When it comes to onboarding, the office manager’s job isn’t just about setting up a new starter’s computer, phone and official documents. They are in the unique position of working across all departments, so should also play an integral role in the successful onboarding of new employees through more informal means. We recommend partnering with the HR department to ensure everyone understands their roles and that all aspects of the process are covered.
We’ve outlined three ways an office manager can play a crucial role in settling in a new starter.
Prepare Their Team
One important thing to do beforehand is prepare the team for the new hire. You can do this by encouraging them to invite the new hire out to after-work drinks, organising a team lunch or setting up a team-building activity for the first few weeks they’re at the company. Depending on the role, HR may have organised a person to act as a mentor for them, or they may be receiving a hand over from their predecessor. Check this person has all of the materials and information they need to start this process. If the previous person wasn’t in the role and you hired a temp to fill the gap, ensure the temp has at least a few days handover with the new hire as well.
Talk to Senior Staff
The new starter’s manager will be overseeing their workload. If they are experienced, they will know the best way to introduce information – slowly, with regular check-ins and making sure their new hire is coping with their new role.
What about their interactions with other departments? Take the initiative and chat to each manager about a time they will be available to introduce themselves to the new starter. Once confirmed, make sure you remember to pop it in their calendar so they don’t let it fall to the wayside. This way, it’s guaranteed that the new employee will get some face time with the people around them, and it gives them an opportunity to find out how their role will interact with the rest of the office. This also encourages co-working and collaboration in the office, which is beneficial for productivity and ideas.
Communicate With Them
A new starter’s first day is daunting to say the least, so try to make your interactions with them as friendly as possible. It’s usually HR or the line manager’s role to go over company policies and make introductions, so sit back and wait until they have absorbed this information. Meet them within their first few days to reinforce anything they’re unsure with. Learn about them and make sure they’re aware of any benefits that may be of interest to them. This might be the company’s flexible working policies or social nights out. If you’re working remotely, it’s still important to set up a meeting a few days into their job so you can check in with them.
Above all, it’s important to work with the existing staff so this transition is as easy as possible for your newbie! You’re a natural conduit between HR, management and the new starter’s team; by ensuring everyone is aware of their responsibilities during this time, you’re proving yourself to be an invaluable part of the business’ success.
Check out our other workplace insights to keep up with our latest tips and office trends, or read our Interview and Selection Guide for employers.