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If your business has traditionally taken a sink-or-swim approach for new hires, it may be time to adopt a different philosophy. Taking the time to properly train a new employee and introduce them to others is an excellent way to ease the transition. In fact, by adopting new hire onboarding practices, you can retain employees and strengthen coworker relationships.

Let’s dive into five practical strategies that will make new hires feel right at home in their new jobs.

1. Establish a Welcome Strategy

Put together a welcome strategy that the company will follow when someone new is hired. To gain insight, ask your current employees how they felt when they first started at your company. What could have been done to make them feel more comfortable? Also create a new hire welcome kit that includes the essentials, such as branded merchandise and office supplies.

2. Create a Collage of Current Employees

A major source of anxiety is how a new person will fit in. Will they be accepted and appreciated? Are there social cliques to be aware of? How will they remember the names of their coworkers?

To reduce this anxiety, create a collage of your employees with their pictures and names. This is far more interesting than a standard list. You can even include fun, personal details like favorite foods and pets.

3. Adopt a Buddy System

Buddy systems work in preschool and they work in the corporate world too. Assign someone to work with each new hire for the first week or two while they get acclimated. You can assign one person in particular or rotate between coworkers. It’s helpful for new hires to get the inside scoop on things rather than having to rely on the company handbook.

4. Practice Your Company Culture

One of the best ways to make a person feel like a valued part of the team is by immersing them in the company culture. Do this as soon as possible so that the new hire feels like part of something bigger. Include the person in social activities and ask for their input on projects.

5. Be Genuine

One last bit of advice is to treat your new hire like a real person, not a body filling a position. During the onboarding process, talk to the new hire regularly and ask about how they learn best and how they prefer to communicate. Take an interest in their personal life and find things that connect you as humans.

In the end, an onboarding process will make your new hires transition easily into the company. After all, you don’t just want people sticking around. You want them to become essential assets to the team.