When a new employee joins your company, they aren’t just joining you and the human resources department; they are joining a group of individuals they will be spending half their weekday waking hours with for the next several years. As such, it isn’t only important for you and other leadership to take part in the onboarding process, but for your employees to be involved as well. Socialization is a large part of the onboarding process, and you can lead your employees in welcoming their new colleague with these 3 tips.

1. Mentorship

Cheri Ostroff and Steve W. J. Kozlowski found that “newcomers with mentors become more knowledgeable about the organization than did newcomers without mentors. Mentors can help newcomers better manage their expectations and feel comfortable with their new environment through advice-giving and social support.” By selecting a mentor for your new employee, you can give them a personal guide to the company; however, it is important to select this mentor carefully. Someone who likes their job and shows it, is knowledgeable about the company, and is sociable enough to provide valuable and productive introductions to people the new employee needs to know is a great resource. However, a mentor who might have a negative attitude or is socially uncomfortable may not get your new employee off to a positive and efficient start.

2. Company culture integration

There are a lot of things about your company that don’t really get included in the orientation paperwork, on the website, or anywhere else; they are simply unspoken rules and customs of the company, and a new employee might not even know what to ask to get information about company culture. Are there regular social events at the company? Is overtime frowned upon or expected? Is there casual Friday, and does that mean jeans or does it mean forgoing a suit for business casual? These are the sort of topics that come up in conversation when a new employee has time to spend talking to their coworkers, so set aside specific time for them to do so. If possible, take them out for lunch with their whole team on the first day, and perhaps throughout the first week or two, have direct coworkers or people from a variety of departments take them out for lunch and chat about what they do and what they like about the company.

3. Network of information

New employees tend to seek out information, a practice which “is associated with social integration, higher levels of organizational commitment, job performance, and job satisfaction,” according to research by Bulent Menguc of Brock University. This sort of information might be about company culture, job performance, or feedback to verify if they are assimilating well. An employee’s mentor can introduce them to colleagues who can help them with certain aspects of their job, and those colleagues can follow up by stopping by the new employee’s work station to briefly talk about what aspects of their job they might be able to provide help with. An additional aid for new employees (who might not have retained everyone’s names and jobs when first introduced) would be to provide them with a printed or online directory that shows each of their coworkers’ names, photos, jobs, and interests; this is a handy reference for new hires looking for both necessary information and people with whom to socialize. Many companies already have an internal social networking website for better connecting employees.

After all, the other name for onboarding is organizational socialization, and socializing new employees effectively during onboarding is a critical part of employee retention and satisfaction. Make sure that you don’t ignore it by getting all your employees involved with welcoming their new coworker.

What other ways do you involve your employees while onboarding a new hire?