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5 Warm Ways to Welcome a New Church Hire

5 Warm Ways to Welcome a New Church Hire
  • Name
    William Vanderbloemen
So you have made a hire for your church staff. Now what? That's an important question. Many church leaders spend so much time and focus on the front end of the hiring process that they can forget to be intentional once the new employee has arrived. Here are some ideas to help you move beyond the hire and welcome a new staff member well.

1. Make a personal call or write a note.

Once the offer is accepted, take the time to write a personal note or make a call to let them know how excited you are about having them join the team. This gives you the opportunity to share your excitement about them being a part of the team.

2. Send a welcome packet.

Take time to make a Welcome Packet, and send any paperwork ahead of time. Do you remember your first day at a new job? There's often loads of paperwork that needs to be completed. If at all possible, send as much of the paperwork or an online link that needs to be completed ahead of the first day. This will allow your new staff member the opportunity to do other things than just sit in their new office on their first day completing paperwork. In this Welcome Packet, include a letter from their supervisor and/or even a card from their new team welcoming them to the organization. Also, include an overview of your organization, your history, your mission and vision, your benefits information, and your employee handbook.

3. Deliver a welcome basket.

Your new team member has arrived in your city. Depending on how far they moved, they are probably filled with some mixed emotions. Some have left family behind. Some have never moved to a new location. Whatever the situation, it can be a very emotional time. So, how can we help? One way is by having a welcome basket delivered on their move-in day. In the welcome basket, you could include local gift cards to nearby restaurants and local retail stores like Target or Wal-Mart, snacks, waters, a map or list to some local favorites of your staff, and maybe a Home Depot or Lowe's gift card. Have a team member put together the welcome basket and think about things to include that would help the transition go well on those first few days of moving in. If the new team member has children, you could include a few small toys; or if they have teens, then add a movie theater gift card or the like. Include anything that lets the entire family know, "We are so excited about you being here."

4. Have everything prepared for their first day.

Recruit a welcome team from your staff and assign each member specific things that they can be responsible for as you prepare for your new hire's first day. Here are some things that the welcome team can do:
  • Decorate the new employee's office. No need to overdo it, but place a few notes, post-its or even balloons on their desk to let them know you are excited about their first day in the office.
  • If your church provides a laptop, any office equipment or supplies, have them on their desk when they arrive for their first day. Have their computer on their desk and ready to go with any software or programs needed.
  • Schedule a tour of the facilities. Introduce them to everyone along the way, especially the key leaders they'd need to ask any specific questions to.

5. Have an intentional onboarding plan.

How can you help this person adjust to their new role, and how can the church make sure they are set up for success? Have an intentional onboarding plan. Here are some ideas to help with the onboarding of the new church staff member:
  • Assign a mentor. Make sure this person is not someone that will be their supervisor but is someone that can help show them the ropes. Ask about their transition, be available to answer any questions about the community, or help them walk through any adjustments they may be experiencing.
  • Have the staff contact list on their desk and take them around the offices to meet them during the week.
  • Schedule lunch with their team on the first day.
  • Schedule other staff members or teams for lunch during their first week.
  • Schedule a meeting on day one with your HR staff to turn in any completed forms and allow time for questions about benefits, policies or compensations.
  • Make sure you allow some time for the new employee to set up their office and be able to accomplish small things as they get adjusted to their new role and office space.
As important as it was to make a great impression on your candidates during the hiring process, it is just as important to go beyond the hire to make a continued great impression as they get started. It will be well worth the investment that you make into their first few days and weeks. What tips do you have for welcoming a new church staff member?