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Employee Orientation
Creating a Welcoming Environment
It is important for an agency to create a process by which all employees and customers are treated in a manner that recognizes, affirms and values the uniqueness and worth of each individual. The Human Resource (HR) section can be a great asset to agency leadership in establishing good values and practices for helping people feel welcome in the agency.
Here are some ideas to help an agency create and maintain a welcoming environment:
  • Ensure the agency is easily identifiable from outside
  • Make an employee’s first day on the job an event for the work unit. Schedule time for an agency tour and for coworkers to meet and get to know the new employee
  • Keep all public and work areas clean, free of clutter and accessible
  • Remind employees that some employees and customers may be sensitive to fragrances
  • Conduct conversations containing confidential information in an area where they cannot be overheard
  • Refrain from gossip in the workplace
  • Choose appropriate decorations and décor that reflect and celebrate the agency’s employees and customers
  • Be careful about assumptions or stereotypes you may have about others
  • Train staff to operate a TTY or TTD, if your agency office has one
  • Speak directly to the employee or customer, not to the interpreter if one is used
  • Treat employees as individuals. Observe and respect employee and customer behaviors such as eye contact, personal space and timing in communication
  • Treat all people as individuals
  • Be flexible, sensitive, and willing to adapt traditional skills to meet employee and customer needs
  • Show respect for all employees and visitors to the worksite
  • Use active listening techniques
  • Be accessible for questions and concerns
  • Smile!  This is seen as welcoming to most individuals