Don't get me wrong -- perks are good; it's important for people to feel valued and to see tangible evidence that they are appreciated. But being nice and indulgent toward them won't help productivity if they're unsure or unclear about what they are supposed to be doing (and morale will still suffer, as well).
I think it's especially important for new hires to have mentors, who know what is expected of the newbies, can ask detailed questions to keep track of their progress, and can offer tips or answers when the newbie gets stuck (or offer more to do when the newbie sails ahead of expectations).
The "big picture" for each project needs to be shared, and the detailed breakdown and assignment of tasks needs to be a matter of record, with realistic assessment of the tasks that will involve learning and using new tools (as distinct from those that involve "turning a crank" on a familiar process).
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