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Make Them Feel Welcome, in English

19 October 2022

“Fine, thank you” ….awkward silence… “Good coffee.” …. more silence. Fake grin…

Has this ever happened to you? There’s a new foreign colleague in the department.

Of course you communicate in English, and although you want to make them feel welcome, you just don’t know what to say.

I’m your English coach Roxana and this is English Connection, the place where learning real English is fun inspiring and easy. In this blog post, I’m going show you 4 techniques and the vocabulary you need to welcome your new foreign colleague.

So, here we go…

What’s the first, most basic thing you can do to welcome your new colleague? Naturally, it’s to introduce yourself. It’s as simple as that. But introduce yourself immediately. Not tomorrow, not when you see your new colleague by chance in the cafeteria. Go to your colleague and say hello straight away:

“Hi, I’m Roxana. Welcome to the company”

See? It’s a piece of cake! But it can make a big difference. Do you remember how great you felt when a friendly stranger welcomed you to your company? You can make a big difference in your colleague’s first day at work.

“Ok, now what?”, you may say. Well, you’re both at work, so…you can talk about work. Still, keep the conversation light and friendly. Try asking about their work:

“Where did you use to work in the Uk? What do they have you working on? This is similar to “What are you working on?”, but it’s a little more advanced for you.

Make your colleague feel valued, by asking for their advice on something you’re working on. For example:

“I’d really appreciate a fresh pair of eyes on something I’m working on.”

“Can I ask you for your opinion?”

Notice that expression “a fresh pair of eyes”. It means someone who doesn’t know the project.

Of course, you can also offer your help. Remember, your new colleague may feel embarrassed about asking basic questions, so tell them:

“If you need anything, anything at all, don’t be afraid to ask. My desk is just over there.”

Again, that expression “If you need anything, anything at all…”

“If you need anything, anything at al l…” is a common English expression and it can help you sound more fluent Invite them for coffee or lunch. Make an effort to offer a coffee to your new colleague.

Show them that you want to spend a little time with them. Show them that you want to get to know them. Show them that they are welcome in your team.

Another example is to do with beverages. Don’t just ask: “Do you want a coffee?” Pay special attention to them. Here’s what you can say:

“Can I treat you to a coffee to welcome you to the team?”

Notice the use of the word “treat” in these expressions. This means that you’re offering to pay for the coffee.

“Can I treat you to a coffee?” and “It’s my treat!” both mean “I’ll buy it for you.”

It’s friendlier than just “Do you want a coffee?”

You should engage in small talk. Simple chat, like:

“How do you like Rome?”

“How’s your first day going? So, where do you come from exactly?”

Do you like kittens? [What do you mean, ‘No puppy questions?!’ Well, the other questions are all fantastic questions, but no “Do you like kittens?”

Remember, small talk is about basic, simple subjects. It serves to build a bridge between you and the new person. It makes a new person feel welcome. It decreases stress for someone in a new environment. And you can get to know your new colleague a little better too.

But is always really important? You bet! Studies suggests that creating good relationships early makes people feel more engaged in their work. It improves employee morale, and it increases sharing between colleagues.

Here’s the recap: Go introduce yourself. Now. Chat about work, treat them to a coffee, and make some small talk.

And what about you? Have you ever welcomed a new colleague to your company in English?

If so, tell us about it in the comments below. And if you haven’t, well, now’s the opportunity to try these techniques and expressions, and then come back and tell us about it later in the comments.

Oh by the way, have you subscribed to BiteSize English to get regular mini-lessons? What are you waiting for? You’ll get more podcasts with tons of practical tips to increase your English fluency and boost your career.

Finally, do you have a friend who could benefit from this video? If so, Send them this link. You’ll help me help your friend advance their English and enhance their career.

It’s a win-win situation!


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