I think it’s crazy that most teams only throw a party to celebrate a valued team member when they leave.  It needs to happen at the start too!

A recruitment process is much like dating:

  1. Two interested parties make initial contact (job application)
  2. If they like each other, they schedule a date (first interview)
  3. If the date goes well, there is likely to be another date (second interview)
  4. If it continues to progress, longer-term commitment, engagement and maybe a wedding are often the next steps! (job offer, signed contract and start of new job)

To me, getting married means celebrating and probably a party!

This is what a 'Welcome Day' looks like at our business, The Physio Co:

  • Everybody knows the name of the new person joining (before they arrive)
  • The training room is set up with the new team member’s favourite goody
  • The new recruit is welcomed with a hug or a high five and a Welcome Pack
  • The business story is shared with great detail around history, purpose, vision, core values, behaviours and expectations
  • At lunchtime, we have a mini-welcome party in honour of the newest team member/s (including a toast and a speech)
  • Of course there is also job-specific training, introduction to the team leader, full IT access and clarity on steps for success in the weeks and months to come

PHOTO: Welcoming a bunch of new team members to The Physio Co

We all spend a huge amount of time at work, therefore we need to find a way to enjoy it.

If we are going to trade our time for someone else’s money (in some ways, that’s what a job is), then we may as well do it in a place where we are appreciated, cared for and where we feel like we’re doing something useful for others.

A few years ago, we had a senior physiotherapist join our team. On her celebratory 'Welcome Day', she turned to me and said:

“In all my years, in all the jobs that I’ve had, no one has ever given me permission to have fun at work before.”

To enjoy work we need we need a place where we’re encouraged to smile, joke and make friends with the people around us.

Of course, not every day at work will look and feel the same, but we can try to always retain that ‘Welcome Day’ feeling by having systems to show more love to our team mates.

Those systems around retaining a strong culture help us to do what needs to be done because it’s easy to be ‘too busy’ running a business or team to show the love and gratitude to employees for the work they are doing.

Love MUST be clearly communicated to employees. Not many people can read your mind if you don’t say thanks out loud!

Here’s an example of a system for getting that transition from welcome to empowered team member happening:

The first 120 days: establishing a rhythm of connection

  • Welcome day (earlier in this post; you already know that bit!)
  • First week: in-person contact or phone calls scheduled each day with a team leader or assigned buddy (a more experienced team member)
  • First 10 days: working with, shadowing and learning from experienced team members until the new team member is ready and confident to go it alone
  • First 90 days: two ‘happiness monitoring calls (or meetings)’ asking how the business can improve the experience and provide any additional support or training
  • At 120 days: the first quarterly review to ensure the new team member is settled in and aligned with the company vision

There you have it, one example of a system to embrace new team members and onboard them in a caring way to set up success.

When and how do you have parties and celebrations in your business?