The first week is crucial for the work climate and future performance of new recruits. This is why it is advisable to properly structure the initiation phase. An onboarding process helps ensure that foreign staff members
- are able to work autonomously;
- are culturally integrated into the company within a short time, meaning that they get to know German work culture and identify with the corporate culture;
- are properly integrated into their team and develop a good relationship with their line manager and other colleagues.
The onboarding process generally starts when signing the work contract and ends at the earliest after the probation period and at the latest after one year. Standardising tasks and processes is pivotal. Therefore, check lists and guidelines might be helpful. They will save you time every time you take on a new recruit. In individual cases, it might be useful to foster awareness of diversity in your established staff by means of training courses. That will create a better understanding of intercultural collaboration at work.
You can acquire in-depth knowledge of planning and implementing an onboarding process by attending further education seminars for executives. You can also get advice from personnel management consultants.
Holding welcome days
Welcome days are a practical any key onboarding tool. The goal of a welcome day is to introduce new recruits to the work environment and their future tasks. The schedule for a first day at work could be structured as follows:
- Welcoming speech: Welcome the new recruits and introduce their work colleagues.
- Present the company: If you did not already present the company during your first interview with the staff member, now is a good opportunity to take a tour of the respective business divisions and departments.
- Discuss tasks and introduce them to their post: Show your new staff members where they will be working and their equipment. Discuss pending tasks with them and what the next steps will be during the first few days. You might also discuss personnel matters that have not yet been settled once again.
- Hand over the welcome pack: Put the most important information about the company, that can help newcomers find their way around and serve as a reference together, in a folder.
The “Living in Germany” section on the "Make it in Germany" website for qualified professionals also contains a number of relevant topics for the first few days in Germany.
KOFA (Centre of Excellence for securing qualified professionals)
International Society for Diversity Management