So, your new recruit has cleared all the hurdles and becomes a part of your company? The challenge facing you now is to integrate this 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 somewhere to live. Because without somewhere to live, 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 that you should make initial accommodation arrangements for your staff member. If possible, look for some temporary accommodation close to your company that you can offer the member of staff for an initial period.
Provide help for language courses
Learning the language is crucial to successful integration. Especially when German is the corporate language, it is advisable to help the staff member learn it. 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 still in their country of origin. It would be helpful in that case to provide information about the different types of language course in that country. The Goethe-Institut offers German courses abroad. Besides courses demanding a physical presence, there is also the option of doing an online German course.
You can find more tips about learning German in the section to “Learning German”.
Put together “welcome packs”
“Welcome packs" are in themselves 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 pack before the arrival of your new staff member from abroad. Below is a list of topics to fill your welcome pack with:
- Worthwhile 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, 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 resident registration office, foreigners’ authority, family benefits office, banks and insurance agencies
Once you have compiled a welcome pack, not only the foreign staff member benefits, but the whole company. So make sure that the welcome pack 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 their corporate structures.
KOFA (centre of excellence for securing a supply of qualified professionals)