How To Make A New Employee's First Day Great
Essential Steps You Should Take
Leigh Gillatt • Recruitment Articles
HOW TO MAKE A NEW EMPLOYEE'S FIRST DAY GREAT
While the first day of having a new employee might be exciting for you, it can be a daunting time for them. They will be keen to make a good first impression, and it’s important for them to do so. However, it’s important that you as an employer get off on the right foot as well. This will help them more easily get to grips with the role and help them settle. This makes a more positive work environment and improves productivity.
Think about it... everyone’s been a new employee at some point during their working lives. Do you remember how you felt on the first day of your current job? Probably some strange combination of hopeful, nervous and excited about the opportunity before you.
As an employer it’s critical to respect those feelings and make your new hires feel welcome and like a part of the team from day one.
So the question is, just how do you make a new employee's first day great?
We've put together the following essential steps to take with your new employee on their first day:
- Give Them A Tour
- Have Their Workstation Set Up Before They Arrive
- Have A Team Welcome
- Avoid Bombarding Them With Information
- Create A First 3 Months Tasks Checklist
- Buddy Them Up With A Co-Worker
- Have An Employee - Employer One To One
- Create A ‘First Day Checklist’ For Use By A Manager
- Ask For Feedback
Let's look at each of these steps in a little more detail...
1. Give Them A Tour
You’ll know what it’s like starting a new job and having to come to terms with a new office environment. Taking 20 minutes to show them the working space, facilities, and building layout will help them get their bearings and feel comfortable with their surroundings.
2. Have Their Workstation Set Up Before They Arrive
Having new employees’ workstation and logins set up before they start is a small thing, but it’s a meaningful one. The last minute scramble to obtain a space and computer login for a new employee the day they start adds stress that’s completely unnecessary for both of you.
Plus a new employee is going to feel much more welcome if you've already allocated them their own personal work space and have prepared in advance with their login credentials for any equipment and software they're going to need access to.
At this stage you may also want to consider any necessary access codes / cards for the building? Having everything prepared will allow your new employee to delve straight into the work and help them feel valued.
3. Have A Team Welcome
You want the new employee to feel like a member of the team straightaway. Alleviate that inevitable tension by making introductions. Showcase everyone and their roles to the new addition so that the transition into the new workplace is smooth for them.
4. Avoid Bombarding Them With Information
New employees are already going through a big life change their first day on the job. No matter how experienced they are, every workplace is different and that means adapting to a new work environment and ways of working.
It can often be the case that employers drop a shed-load of information on employees on their first day. They’re introduced to everyone in the office (good luck remembering all those names!) given packages of forms to fill out, and view dozens of PowerPoint slides introducing them to the company. It can be a lot for anyone to absorb.
5. Create A First 3 Months Tasks Checklist
One of the best ways to ensure a positive transition for a new starter is to have a game-plan or checklist outlining their upcoming tasks for the upcoming 3 months. This is nothing more than a list of things that should be done over the next 3 months, but it will help them slip seamlessly into the workforce, whilst giving them focus on what is expected of them over the first few months within your organisation.
6. Buddy Them Up With A Co-Worker
It’s easier to become familiar with a new workplace when there’s a designated coworker nearby who’s available for questions or support. Even better, set up the new employee to shadow another more experienced employee, to get the full, immersive experience.
Although it can be great having a manager show you the ropes when you're first starting out at a new job, it can often be more comfortable to have someone who won’t be your boss perform the task instead. No matter how approachable a manager is, it can be intimidating for new employees having to pester their newly boss with endless questions. Not to mention it can also allow managers to better utilise their own time more effectively by performing tasks required for running the business.
7. Have An Employee - Employer One To One
It’s important to make the new employee feel welcome on a manager-to-employee level. You will already know them a bit from the interviews and their CV, but it’s also important to take some time to sit down and get to know them better.
Let them know a bit about you as well, as this will make you approachable when they inevitable ask for help down the line. Take them out for a ‘welcome’ lunch as an alternative to make the situation more comfortable for them. It shows that you're glad to have them on the team.
Here are some possible questions you could ask to get the conversation going:
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
- Do you have any children?
- What did you do last weekend?
- Tell me about your time at university?
These are just a few options that will encourage your new starter to open about themselves. Don’t just ask these questions and leave it there: provide a response. If one of their hobbies is like yours, or something you’re interested in, ask for more information. It shows that you’re not just trying to break the ice and that you are listening to what they have to say.
8. Create A ‘First Day Checklist’ For Use By A Manager
To ensure that you’ve completed all the above tasks, along with typical induction information such as where the fire exits and what do in an accident, create a checklist. It’s a great way to make sure you’ve got everything ready for the new starter before they arrive, and that they have plenty of tasks to get on with when they do start.
9. Ask For Feedback
Taking on a new employee and the first few days of their start are challenging for both parties. Expectations and needs differ from employee to employee. No matter how much you refine your new starter process, there’s always room for improvement. Ask new employees for feedback, or if there was anything they feel was lacking or could have been improved on during their first day(s) of their new job within you, it'll serve to strengthen your processes for when future new employees join your business.