How to Help New Employees Feel at Home When They Move to Chicago

Chicago is an exciting city full of opportunity and activities. However, like any major city, Chicago can be intimidating to new residents. Fortunately, small businesses can help new employees feel at home through a variety of ideas that acquaint them with the city in a way that's fun, relevant and informative.

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Show Weather Is No Obstacle

Chicago residents agree: Nobody should underestimate winter. Indeed, Chicago's winters are brutal, though to soften that blow, it's worthwhile to show incoming employees plenty of fun indoor activities. Show off the city's range of excellent museums. The Adler Planetarium, Chicago History Museum, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry and Garfield Park Conservatory are among the best. Also, get acquainted with employees at many trendy bars and restaurants with fireplaces. Chicago is a city that values culture and coziness, which a variety of museums and indoor-centric bars and restaurants can show off.

Also, Emphasize Winter Can Rock

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If your incoming employee is more the anti-winter type, the above tip can help. However, if they’re fond of winter sports, it’s easy to get them feeling at home. Ice skating, sledding, skiing and snowboarding are in abundance throughout the city. Midway Ice Rink and McKinley Ice Rink are great places to skate, while Soldier Field is very worthwhile for both Bears games and for sledding, with a 35-foot-tall hill north of the stadium providing a smooth ride and lakefront view.

Send Them on a Bike Tour

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Chicago is easy to navigate via car, cab or public transit, though the price can add up and that experience is not so immersive. Alternatively, a biking tour can provide a truly realistic view of the city and its many sights, sounds and smells. Give employees a gift card to take a bike tour through Chicago to get to know it better.

They can choose from a tour of the city's most popular attractions, a tour that goes through lakefront neighborhoods, a tour that emphasizes eating and drinking and a tour that traverses the most notable landmarks in Chicago mafia history. There's something for everyone's interests with Chicago bike tours.

Introduce Neighborhoods and Public Transit

Among Chicago's joys are its rich, vibrant neighborhoods and excellent transportation system. The Chicago Transit Authority requires getting used to, though providing employees with a subway map and taking them on a personal tour through the system can help acquaint them. Additionally, talk about or tour them through some notable neighborhoods, including Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park, River North and Wicker Park. They all have their own, unique flavors.

Speaking of Wrigleyville, be sure to acquaint new employees with the fervent sports fandom in Chicago. With a variety of major sports teams, employees are likely to experience the city’s passion during a sporting event, even if they’re not a major sports fan. Fortunately, there is always at least one major sport active in Chicago, whether it’s baseball, football, basketball or hockey.

Employers can use these tips to help new employees feel excited about their Chicago move, encouraging them to enjoy the city for its many offerings as they acclimate to more business-related matters.

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  • Love these tips as an HR person!

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