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Meeting Employees in Person for the First Time? We’ve Got Some Tips

There’s no question that the pandemic has caused major shifts across many businesses.

With social distancing measures and mask requirements – working from home and conducting virtual interviews became the norm. And in fact, many businesses will continue operating this way for the foreseeable future, which means seeing your employees and co-workers in person less often.

It can already be hard enough to get acquainted with new faces and there’s no doubt with the pandemic, it’s even harder for people to get back into the groove of socializing.

Below we have a few tips on what to do when meeting an employee in person for the first time.

1. Know that it will feel awkward, but don’t be afraid to say that it is.

It’s going to feel awkward, there’s doubt about that. It’s been two years since we have been able to properly socialize with our co-workers and employees, so it’s better to embrace it and talk about it, rather than trying to avoid it. Remember – everyone is in the same boat as you – so don’t be afraid to say that you’re a little rusty at meeting someone new and socializing again.

2. Prepare by having activities or talking points ready to go.

Especially if there are a couple of new people at your company, have planned activities or talking points to ensure that everyone can get to know each other and participate. Remember with working remotely, your new hires are not acquainted with employees that have been with you prior to COVID-19. Perhaps go around and have everyone introduce themselves and talk a little bit about their career? Or you can ask everyone to describe how they’ve been coping with working from home?

3. If you are the boss – set an example.

Regardless of hiring someone virtually – you more likely are the most familiar with everyone at the company – so use that as a way to make everyone feel more comfortable and be the leader in starting conversations.

In addition to this, it’s important to make your employees feel appreciated. There were a lot of changes with the pandemic and everyone had to do their part to make things work – don’t be afraid to acknowledge that.

4. Be who you are.

Remember, everyone is just as nervous as you are. Don’t worry too much about creating the perfect interaction – there will always be another opportunity moving forward to build work relationships, so don’t put too much pressure on it the first time around.


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