Did your new recruit clear all the hurdles and is now part of your company? The challenge you are facing now is integrating your new member of staff at work. Not only the fellow colleagues but also the managers need to create a welcoming culture and actively help newcomers settle into day-to-day work.
The first thing someone moving to Germany needs on arrival is a place to live. Because without accommodation, they can neither register their place of residence nor open a bank account. A temporary hotel address will not be accepted as an officially registered address. This is why it is important to make initial accommodation arrangements for your staff member. An option could be to look for temporary accommodation close to your company that you can offer the staff member for an initial period.
Provide help for language courses
Learning the language is crucial to successful integration. It is advisable to help the staff member learn German, especially if it is the corporate language. That will help them cope in everyday life.
If there is still enough time before they start work, you can encourage your new employee to begin learning German while they are still in their country of origin. In that case, it would be helpful to provide information on the different types of language courses in that country. The Goethe-Institut offers German courses abroad. Besides courses demanding for the employee to attend in person, there is also the option of completing a German course online.
You can find more tips about learning German in the "Learning German" section.
Put together "welcome packages"
"Welcome packages" are symbols of a genuine corporate welcoming culture. They should serve the purpose of helping new staff members find their feet in their adopted country and provide information about the company, the first things they need to do on arrival and life in the region. Put together your own welcome package before your new staff member arrives from abroad. Below is a list of topics to fill your welcome pack with:
- Valuable facts about the company and day-to-day work
- Information about life in their new home town: the housing market, medical care, childcare facilities, cultural and recreational activities, options for eating out
- Material to help them find their way around: town map, public transport map and timetables
- Information about necessary administrative formalities: addresses and opening times of the Residents' Registration Office, Foreigners' Authority, Family Benefits Office, banks and insurance agencies
Once you have compiled a welcome package, not only the foreign staff member, but the whole company gains benefits. Make sure that the welcome package is available to the entire workforce. The BDA (Confederation of German Employers' Associations) "Welcoming Culture" guidelines provide further information on how companies can make foreign staff members feel welcome and integrate them into corporate structures.