Office etiquette tips to welcome new colleagues

Office Etiquette Tips to Welcome New Colleagues

You’ve survived the holidays, you’ve welcomed in the New Year, and now you have to transition back into office life. When you arrive back at your desk with your holiday glow, there may be some new faces to welcome into your team.

Welcoming new members of your team in a warm and gracious manner will make you stand out as a prize employee and could make you look like a team leader. If you’re up for a promotion this year in your company, initiating the welcome could boost your professional reputation and help you win that promotion long in advance.

Here are some tips to help you give a warm and gracious welcome to the new people in your team.

1. Organise a Group Lunch

Your team may have the budget to organise a welcome meal at a restaurant for a new employee. But if your team’s budget has been cut over recent years, then an expensive restaurant for the whole team may not be a viable option. Instead, organise an informal party or get-together in the office kitchen at lunch.

Choose a day that suits all members of your team and ask each person to bring one dish that can be shared among the group. Split the savoury dishes, desserts, and drinks between the members of your team so there is a variety of food available.

It’s often not necessary to have a restaurant meal to welcome new team members. The purpose of a restaurant meal is to create a relaxed environment where your team can connect and get to know each other. A party in the office kitchen achieves the same result.

2. Bring into the Office a Bag of Croissants or a Cake to Share with Your Team

It’s amazing how food can create a reason to bond. It adds a common element and can ignite conversations. Don’t just place the bag of croissants on the kitchen bench and expect people to help themselves. At the minimum, you should leave a note inviting your team to take one. Try something such as “Welcome back to the office everyone. I hope you’ll all try one of these croissants, they’re delicious. Kara”.

Or if you really want to get to know the new people in your team, you’ll have more chance of starting a conversation with them if you go to their desk and offer them a croissant in person. To get the conversation going, start with simple topics such as the holidays or ask about their New Year party. Then slide into slightly more personal topics such as their previous work history or even what they like to do in their spare time.

3. Introduce Yourself to the Newcomer

If you work in a large office, it could be tempting to avoid the new people so you don’t have to introduce yourself to them. Introducing yourself to a stranger is a really daunting task for many. It’s an issue that I talked about extensively in my eBook €œThe Ultimate Networking Roadmap: Rise above fear to network with confidence and class because it’s often the number one reason we’re too afraid to go to networking events.

Introducing yourself is really not that difficult. A simple sentence, such as “€œHi, you must be new in the office. I’m Kara€” is something that can get a conversation going. It’s not the difficulty of the sentence that’s creates our fear. It’s the unknown and the uncertainty of whether that person will respond positively in return. Put yourself in the shoes of the newcomer in the office. Would you really want to create enemies the first day on the job?

How do you welcome newcomers into your team? Leave your comments in the section below.

About Kara

Kara Ronin is an international business etiquette expert and founder of Executive Impressions. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider India, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Daily Muse, Women 2.0, and more. Kara offers corporate seminars and online training programs on business etiquette, leadership skills, and executive communication around the world. Get Kara's insights delivered straight to your inbox