By: Alexandra Hicks of Zenefits
We all know that an employee’s first day at a new job can be a little scary—and not just for them, but for employers as well. Not only do you need to teach them a new job with new duties, but you’re trying to help them adjust to an entirely different company culture.
With some onboarding preparation, you can turn the typical first-day employee anxiety into genuine excitement. Making the right impression will not only make your employee feel prepared for the new job, but will ensure that they feel comfortable and welcome at your organization.
Here are 10 things to prepare for your new employee’s first day at work.
- Send a first day welcome announcement to the company
Before the employee’s arrival, send a welcome announcement to the rest of the company. The announcement should include some basic information about them:
- Personal information, such as favorite hobbies or foods
Employees can then easily see if they have anything in common, like a shared interest or experience that can help break the ice.
- Prepare their space
When the employee arrives on day one, make sure someone is waiting to greet them and help them get settled. Also, ensure that their space is ready for them, including preparing their:
- Email & network access
- Office supplies
Doing so shows the employee that they’re a priority and a valued member of the organization.
- Provide a staff directory
Giving your employee a directory of the staff will help them get familiar with their coworkers and make them feel more comfortable introducing themselves. An online, up-to-date employee directory is a convenient option.
- Simplify first-day paperwork
First day formalities can often be tedious, especially when dealing with a mountain of onboarding paperwork. Instead of wasting valuable time filling out form after form, have your employee sign their paperwork electronically, on day one if not before. This not only saves time, but keeps all necessary documents safe in one place for future use.
- Have a solid training program
One of the most nerve-wracking things about starting a new job is actually doing the job. By having a clear, comprehensive training program, you can ease your new employee’s day one anxiety and help them feel prepared and motivated for the job ahead of them.
- Assign a mentor
On your new employee’s first day, setting them up with a buddy or mentor can help them feel more comfortable. This way, they have a confidant they can ask about everything. These can be bigger questions like, “How do I complete this task?” or smaller items like, “Where’s the best place on this block to get lunch?” A mentor can help the employee assimilate into the culture that much quicker.
- Plan an activity
Having a planned, team activity is a great way to make a new employee feel welcome on their first day. A few ideas include:
- Host a catered lunch.
- Take the team to a favorite local eatery.
- Throw an after-work happy hour.
Events like these can give your new and current employees a chance to get to know each other in a more open, lower-stress environment.
- Give a welcome gift
Everyone loves getting gifts, so consider giving the new hire a little something to say welcome, including:
- Company swag like t-shirts or coffee mugs
- Office equipment like pens or notebooks
- A map that shows the best lunch spots around the office
- Check in
At the end of the week, be sure to give the new hire a chance to ask any questions they might have. This time can be overwhelming—they’ll certainly have questions, and letting them know that you’re available to help can make them feel important and welcome at your organization.
- Show your enthusiasm
Make sure you’re enthusiastic about your new hire. You want them to feel like they’re welcome and that you look forward to working with them. Even on an employee’s first day, there are many ways to show your enthusiasm, whether it means using any of our tips, or building a new first day employee ritual unique to your company and culture.
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