The first day of any new job can be overwhelming. Trying to navigate a new company, meet everyone in the office and learn the ropes of a new role is a lot for new hires.
First impressions are important. New hires know just how important it is to make a good first impression early in their tenure, but it’s also important for companies to put their best foot forward for their newest team members. The candidate wowed the organization at the interview. Now, it’s time for the organization to wow them with a perfect first day of work.
Here are seven ways to make the first day of work perfect for new hires:
1. Have everything ready.
Companies must be prepared. When a new hire arrives to find no one is expecting them, or their workspace is not ready, they may feel unappreciated and unwelcome. An organization doesn’t need to pull out all the stops, but the new hire should have a workspace prepared with all the relevant tools (computer, phone, etc.) ready to go.
2. Give an office tour.
On the first day, new hires should be shown the facilities and introduced to co-workers. Nothing is worse than needing to use the bathroom on the first day and not knowing where to go.
It may seem like this goes without saying, but a company tour is vital for a new employee’s first day of work, even if your office space is small. More than anything, it helps the new employee feel comfortable with their new surroundings and get to know company culture.
3. On-the-job training.
While it’s obvious that a new hire will be trained, make sure to start that training day one. That way they will feel confident about their role and contribution to the organization. It is fine to start small. Training could include anything from how to use equipment to what is required for specific assignments. In addition, if the company involves clients, be sure to explain who they are and how the employee will be interacting with them.
4. Give them small and manageable assignments.
The one thing new employees don’t want to be on their first day is bored. It will have them questioning why they are there. However, companies shouldn’t overwhelm them with work the first day, either.
Giving new hires a few small, manageable tasks (and be sure to provide plenty of details about what they entail) their first day will help them to get their feet wet and see the kind of work they’ll be doing, without feeling overwhelmed. It will also give them a sense of purpose on their first day. Meeting all the other employees and getting to know a new office can be overwhelming, and having a small assignment to focus on can be a nice break.
5. Assign a mentor.
Many new hires may be unsure of the specifics of their tasks or how to get started. It’s virtually guaranteed they will have questions during their first few weeks or months at work. Assigning a specific mentor (rather than leaving it up to chance) can help them to feel more comfortable and confident. Instead of an overwhelming corporation full of strangers, they have one person assigned to help them. Additionally, it can give an up-and-coming manager a chance to stretch their legs.
6. Get paperwork out of the way early.
Paperwork is a necessary part of the onboarding process, and to help new hires be more productive more quickly, organizations should get it out of the way early. Try to keep the process quick and efficient to help avoid making a new employee spend the entire morning of their first day filling out forms.
Consider using a paperless solution not only to to draw efficiencies, but also to stay green and support the environment. This could be done by providing electronic forms employees could fill out on a company computer, or even have emailed to them before their first day.
7. Ask for feedback.
Once the day is drawing to a close, give the new a hire a chance to give feedback on their day. Ask how everything went and if they have any questions. Is there anything they are worried about? Any concerns they have for the future?
Then see what they require for the next day. Asking for feedback will give new employees a chance to tell their employers what they need for success, making the transition to a new job easier. It will also help you inform your process, making sure you are improving your processes wherever you can.
Starting a new job is never easy. Many new hires feel overwhelmed, but by utilizing these tips organizations can make the first day of work a seamless transition and help new employees feel comfortable and welcome.
Have you had a great (or not so great) first day at a new job? Share your experience in the comments section below.
Related: How to Give New Hires a Great Start