First-day jitters aren't exclusive to school. Starting a new job is exciting, but the unfamiliarity of the office, rapid-fire introductions, and different processes an employee experiences are enough to make even the most senior hire a little frazzled.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help new employees settle in comfortably sooner than later. Consider implementing these welcome activities as your company takes on fresh talent.
Announce a New Employee's Arrival a Few Days Earlier
Once the new hire paperwork has been signed and received on your end, ask the new employee to email a favorite photo and a short 3-4 sentence paragraph that includes:
- Their name and new position
- Where they're coming from/past experience
- Fun facts, hobbies, or interests
Send an all-company email introducing the new employee and letting your staff know to look out for them and say hello when they see them.
Give Them an Official Tour of the Office
No matter the size of your office, a new employee will appreciate a heads-up on the location of common areas like the kitchen and restrooms, along with getting a general idea of the meeting rooms they’ll most-likely need to find as they shift into their new role.
Host Department Lunches for New Employees
Turn a new employee’s first day into a celebratory experience by allocating funds for managers to take them for lunch with the team on their first day. An offsite lunch gives them the opportunity to interact with their new coworkers in a casual setting and share personal details that create meaningful connections.
Create a Welcome Package
Save the employee handbook for the orientation meeting. Spruce up a new employee’s desk in a way that will make them smile by creating a welcome package. A welcome package can include:
- A company coffee mug
- A welcome gift card
- Pens and a notebook
- A sweet treat
- A card from their new manager
Develop Week 1 Training Schedule
Training programs are only as effective as they are personal. Meet with the new employee’s manager prior to their first day to develop a first-week training schedule that’s tailored to their new new role, along with a basic orientation session that’s fit for any newcomer. Training sessions can cover:
- Project management systems
- Departmental processes
- Shared calendars and drives
- Collaborative processes
- External resources
Introduce New Employees at an All-Company Meeting
If you have regular monthly or quarterly all-company meetings, take a moment to acknowledge people who have recently joined by calling their names, asking them to stand, and telling the company their role and team.
Ask Them for Feedback
When a new employee joins your company, see it as a learning experience for both of you. During the first month of their employment, ask a new employee to complete and submit a “New Hire Journal” on Friday at the end of each week for four weeks. The journal should include questions that will provide you with a fresh perspective on what it’s like to start out at your company.
You can ask:
- How could we have made you feel more comfortable or welcome on your first day?
- What can we change about our onboarding process to make it easier for new employees to become acclimated?
- Who has been most helpful to you in getting you set up?
- What processes in your department do you feel are effective?
- What processes do you feel could improve?
- Are there processes or aspects from your previous experience that you feel would be a beneficial addition to our company? Tell us about them.
Invite Them to Join a Club or Committee
The sooner a new employee can immerse themselves in your company culture, the more connected they’ll feel to their work, your mission, and the people who make your office a fun place to be. From the 6PM runners’ group to the Monday night quizzo gang to the in-house social committee, these cross-functional teams greatly contribute to employee satisfaction, and in turn, higher retention.
Tip: If you don’t already have one, consider adding a page or section to your company website that lists your clubs and committees. This will provide prospective employees with a glimpse of all the fringe benefits that come along with joining your crew.
Take an Employee-First Approach to Onboarding
From a new hire journal to a desk-side welcome gift, every gesture counts when a new employee decides to choose your company as the place where they’ll spend their time and lend their talents and experience. By creating a culture that invests in employees on their very first day, you’ll build a community of dedicated individuals who make a habit of contributing to a welcoming atmosphere for everyone who walks through the office doors.