Settling into a new country can be an overwhelming experience. Here’s a few ways that employers can help their new employee to feel welcome and supported in their community, and in the workplace, when they first arrive.
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Employers may like to remind their new employee about the first things they should organise when they arrive in Australia, including organising:
New employees can find more information about all these tasks and more on our Arriving in Victoria Checklist
While it is usual for employers to welcome any new employee into the workplace, employers may like to provide some additional support and assistance for new overseas employees who are adjusting to life in a new country. Employers may even like to meet with a new employee before their first day at work to make sure they are prepared for their first day, and provide useful information such as directions to their office, transport options, agreed start times, etc.
A welcome pack with local information and services tailored to a new employee and their family is an effective way to help them to settle into the community. Suggestions for what to include in a welcome pack, and ways to find out what services a new employee may find useful, are listed on our Before a New Worker Arrives page.
Employers may like to assign a member of staff as a workplace mentor to guide a new employee around the workplace and, if possible, introduce them to aspects of their local community.
If the employer knows a bit about their new overseas employee’s family and interests, the new employee can be paired them with other workers who have similar circumstances and interests.
Employers may like to organise a welcome lunch or afternoon tea. This could take place before the new employee starts work so they have a chance to meet people in an informal setting and establish rapport. It is a good idea to invite people both within your organisation and, if relevant, outside it. A welcome event is a good opportunity to introduce a new overseas worker to clients, suppliers or people in other organisations that they will be dealing with in their day-to-day work.
A workplace induction introduces the new overseas employee to the processes, procedures and people that they will be encountering at work.
Remember that someone from overseas may not be as familiar with the Australian workplace and culture as other new employees. A new overseas worker may need a more detailed and longer induction to ensure they are comfortable with unfamiliar workplace jargon, practices and procedures.
It is a good idea for employers to put an induction handbook together for all new employees. Typically an induction handbook will include:
Employers may also like to organise regular orientation catch-ups to support your new employee during their first few weeks in the workplace. This is a good way to ensure that the new employee is settling in and to provide them with any additional information or assistance they may need.
There are many support services available to migrants who are newly arrived in Australia, including multicultural community groups, English language courses, adult education courses, spouse employment services and special interest groups.
Employers may like to ensure their new employee is aware of these services, especially as a support network for their spouse or children.
Our Find Settlement Help page lists the main services under ‘Relocation support services and networks’. The Australian Government Department of Social Services has useful information about settlement services on their website.