The first day at a new job can be daunting for employees, disorienting for others, or even overwhelming if managed ineptly.
You should make sure to hit the mark as efficiently as you can so your new hire finds it as easy as possible to hit the ground running—but not so fast they trip over their own feet.
A big part of this task is how to make newcomers feel welcome. In this article, we’ve got a checklist of suggestions to streamline and organize a new employee’s onboarding, so everyone gets just what they need without the worry or confusion.
We’re here to offer personal and practical tips about the job and their team, and how to write a welcome email to a new colleague.
Hopefully, our guide will help you prepare for and present a structured and organized integration.
In preparation for your new employee’s first day
As well as the paperwork that you’re going to need your new hire to complete, a list of IT and equipment needs to be prepared.
Here’s a checklist of items to consider, at yours and their end of the operation.
Prepare the office in advance
- Set up their desk
- Clear away any signs of previous employees.
- Personalize the space to help them feel like a human and not a commodity.
- Position their welcome pack in pride of place.
- There will be a selection of new hire forms and HR documents to fill, sign, and distribute. How much can be done in advance to make the first day more about the actual work than the paperwork?
- Create their online accounts
- Workflow and project management software.
- Internet and intranet accounts.
- Company’s instant messaging account and password.
- Tech and equipment
- Computer and peripherals, manuals, and operational instructions.
- Company’s policy on equipment use and care.
- Stationery: pens, pads, business cards, nameplates.
- Security items: entry pass or key-card, company ID, parking pass.
- Prepare appropriate staff for the new arrival via company email. Hold a meeting with their team outlining each of their responsibilities to make the integration run as smoothly as possible.
- Pick an appropriate mentor. Make sure they arrive early to greet the new employee and walk them through their first day.
Prepare them as much as possible in advance
Getting employees on board with your systems in advance is one way to make them feel like part of the team before they’ve started.
It also gives you a chance to weed out events that slow down their integration into the job, instead of just integrating them into the company.
The following items should help with how to welcome a new employee to the team/company by email.
- Send your new employee an email to help them prepare with:
- Start date and time, expected time of arrival, where and with whom to report to.
- Parking and transport facilities.
- Dress code.
- What their workstation and company equipment will include, outlining software or systems you use with which they might not be familiar.
- First-day agenda and schedule.
- First-week agenda and expectations.
- Research and reading material about company policy, culture, mission statement and policy.
How to manage your new employee’s first day
To make your new employee feel part of the team from the get-go, make sure they don’t spend any part of their first day feeling like a spare part.
If you create a full schedule, not only will they feel cared for, it will make your job easier integrating them into their role, their team, and the company.
Create a useful, yet fun, welcome kit
With a little careful planning, a creatively constructed welcome kit can make your new hire’s first day (and weeks to follow) so much easier than without one.
It will undoubtedly contain all manner of the official documentation, but it can be fun too. A good welcome pack will present a clear idea of the office culture and operation.
- Employee handbook, and company policy
- Employment contract
- Benefits forms
- Emergency contact information
- Confidentiality agreements
- Expected agendas
- Useful stationery elements
- Schedules, charts, diaries and planners
- Office map
- Employee Directory, including contacts and key staff/teams
- Personal and lighter-hearted inclusions
- Company mug, water bottle and perhaps a t-shirt or other branded novelty.
- Local hotspots and information (think cafes, restaurants, gyms, supplies, etc).
- Upcoming social opportunities and events.
- Extra-curricular facilities, staff perks and benefits.
- A unique gift, relevant to the specific role.
Assign them a mentor
There are plenty of good reasons to assign a mentor or work-buddy to oversee your new hire’s induction.
For the new employee, it could be much easier to ask a colleague those awkward questions that are a little uncomfortable to ask a manager. Also, a colleague will be able to educate them on the tips and tricks of getting through the day on the work floor, any useful shortcuts, what’s considered acceptable, and what isn’t.
Having your mentor meet and greet will take a lot of the worry off your new employee. They’ll also be able to give great insight into office etiquette, the best equipment, and people to utilize for different tasks, as well as being a truly handy ‘cushion’ while they settle into the system.
Create a clear plan of meetings, tasks etc.
A truly concise first-day plan is a must. Make sure to factor in meetings with relevant teams, HR, and managers, as well as enough time to personalize passwords, explore new software, and understand processes and projects.
Set simple tasks, so they feel that their integration time is useful and not just a mass of red tape. Include as many expected daily duties as you can, so they feel as though they’ve already started the job.
Create a social introduction
Remembering who everyone is can be daunting during the first few days. So, one of the big questions is, “How to introduce a new employee to the team?”
We think a first-day lunch event in a social environment gives your new member a chance to see more of their colleagues than the backs of busy working heads. An opportunity to make real connections when everyone has the time to chat and answer questions is a big plus.
How to manage the first week and months
Set clear goals and performance objectives for the future. Creating them in 3-month blocks will set an inclusive timeline, making your employee feel as though their position is long-term and appreciated.
Hold regular meetings and appraisals
You’ll need regular meetings with your hire, and also their mentor, to keep a check that everything is going to plan. A second opinion via your chosen mentor can highlight areas you might miss. They will have quite a different relationship with your hire, after all.
Ask for feedback
Meetings and appraisals offer excellent opportunities not only to address overlooked or mismanaged areas but also to streamline your checklist and process for subsequent hires.
Your employee induction/introduction system should be an ever-evolving process. Its itinerary should grow with your company, meeting all needs, of both employees and managers, old and new.
Feedback from and for all parties is incredibly productive. Don’t fail to underestimate its value.
The more employee inductions you carry out, the more you’ll learn about what you’re getting right and any areas where you’re not performing quite as well.
Inviting feedback from every angle, department, and team member is a great place to start. Many hands make light work, after all.
Developing this list of suggestions into a complete plan, suitable for your business, should create an excellent starting point. And once you’ve honed the perfect plan, life will become so much easier for everyone involved.