Starting employment at a new business can be extremely exciting yet intimidating and can stir up some nerves. When adding a new person to your staff, you’ll want to make a positive first impression and ensure they are comfortable at your company; these impressions will impact how the employee views the company from here on out. This all begins with a solid onboarding process for new employees. Whether your company is large or small, welcoming new employees is imperative to promoting a healthy and productive company culture. Afterall, happy and engaged employees result in increased productivity—boosting your bottom line.
Preparing for the Arrival of a New Employee
Once the job offer has been extended and accepted, it is time for Human Resources to begin preparing for the employee’s arrival. Starting this process in advance will ensure none of the key components for the new hire’s first days are missed.
- If there is not an existing checklist regarding new hires, create one.
- Contact the departments associated with the main essentials, such as setting up an employee’s phone number, creating an email address, and assembling the new employee’s workstation.
- Prepare welcome materials and gifts for the employee – company clothing, pens, water bottles, promotional items, etc. This allows your company to show off their company culture.
- Find an employee within the newcomer’s department that can be their designated “buddy.” This will extend a sense of comfort to the new employee knowing that they have someone to go to with questions, concerns, or just a friendly, familiar face around the office.
- Welcome the employee before their first day. This can be done via email – or, to add a more personal touch, consider having the manager personally call the employee. This brief phone call letting the individual know the company is excited to have them on their team is simple yet goes a long way.
- Here is a template to get your welcome email started:
Welcome to [business name]! We are pleased you have decided to become a member of our team! Although starting a job with a new company may be intimidating, we’d like to ease some of those stresses by explaining what your first day will be like.
- Begin explaining where the employee should park in the parking lot(s), which door they should enter, at what time, and who they will be greeted by.
- Next, explain who else the employee will be meeting throughout the day. This may include Human Resources to complete a tour of the building and necessary paperwork. Don’t forget about additional individuals, like their buddy.
- Attach documents that employees are expected to bring with them on day one.
- Include information about what they might be able to expect out of their first few months at the company – goal setting, company events, specific meetings, etc.
- Attach the dress-code policy to give employees an idea of what to wear.
Relax, enjoy yourself, and we will be seeing you on [date] at [time]!
- Create an agenda for an employee’s first day so they know what to expect. An employee is often faced with a great amount of unknown on their first day, so an agenda eliminates some of the intimidation. When creating an agenda, make sure all meetings are scheduled out in advance (HR orientation, a building tour, a benefits meeting, etc.) and include activities that revolve around something other than a hefty amount of paperwork or documents. There should be very little downtime for the employee.
- Click here for additional preparation materials for new employees.
Welcoming New Employees on Their First Day
If you follow these recommended steps, your new employee is sure to be happy and productive.
- Meet with employees on their first day to discuss the business mission/vision/goals, along with policies and procedures. This will create a line-of-sight for employees of what is expected of them, and what the employee can expect from the company.
- Conduct a tour of the building to familiarize the employee with their new environment. Make sure to point out pieces that are important for the employee, especially within the first week. This could where the employee should be parking in the parking lot after their first day, appliances or items in the kitchen that are available for employees to use, or anything else relevant to the new employee. When conducting the tour, introduce the employee to other key employees that may not be in their department. Having them meet upper-level management will make the employee feel they are a valuable hire.
- Inform the rest of the company of the new employee’s arrival and encourage other employees to welcome them on board. This can be done through the company intranet, email, or posting a picture with a description of their past experiences on a company billboard.
- Consider taking the employee out for a department lunch or some other activity to get the employee acquainted with their department or manager.
Beyond the First Day
A meaningful follow-up gives new employees validation that they are important and valued. By the end of the employee’s first week with the company, you will want to check back with the employee to make sure everything is going smoothly. You may check with the employee to see if their workstation is comfortable or if they need additional accommodations, if they have read all policies/procedures to understand the company’s expectations, or if they had any additional questions or concerns. Beyond the first week, check back with the employee sometime between month one and month three after their hire date. You want to ensure your new employee feels comfortable with their co-workers, department, and the company.