6 Ways to Engage Your New Hire on Their First Day


Starting a new job is a challenge.  As a new hire, there are so many questions and unknowns that it can add extra stress to the process of starting a new job. Great employers do whatever they can to minimize as many of these anxiety provoking experiences.  They know that doing so helps the new hire focus on building relationships with their new co-workers, learning the job, and gaining the competence and confidence to do the job more quickly and efficiently.  The last thing you as an employer want is for your new employees to be spending time worried about breaking the printer or wondering if they get a lunch break. Alleviate these common concerns and your employee will likely retain more of the training and experience-based learning that will improve their performance and engagement on the job.

Start with these simple, practical, and fun ideas:

1.  Give the employee a schedule and onboarding packet BEFORE for their first week of employment.  At the very least, have their first day scheduled out and include details in the packet such as dress code, what time to show up, who to ask for, what to expect, when and where lunch will be, what time they will be released, and what to bring. Put yourself in the position of starting a new job and include all the things you would love to know as you get ready for that first day.

2.  Have the direct supervisor call the new employee a few days before their scheduled start date. This is especially important if someone else was responsible for the hire and the new employee hasn’t met their direct boss yet.  The purpose here is to let them know you are excited for them to start, confirm details that were in the packet, ask them if they have any questions, and make sure they have your phone number in case they get lost or something happens between now and their arrival.

3.  Have their workstation set up for them in a welcoming manner.  You don’t want their desk so perfectly put together where they no longer feel comfortable making it their own space, but an empty desk with no supplies or offerings sends the wrong message. A card signed by the whole team, a personalized welcome sign hung on the wall, or a coffee mug filled with candy all show the new hire that they are valued from day one and that the team has planned for their arrival.

4.  Introduce them to everyone in the office.  Give them a full tour of the entire building including bathrooms, kitchen, break room, and copy room.  As you go through the tour, begin to explain the unwritten rules of the office or building. Remember, you likely have worked here for a long time, but for them, its new, uncomfortable, and they are nervous. Your new hire will hopefully have years to learn, grow, and develop in their role; They will do this faster and more effectively if they are less worried about interpersonal issues or commonalities such as how to send a fax, how to brew coffee, or how to make an outgoing call in their first few weeks.

5.  Take your employee to lunch on their first day. Pay for the meal and get to know your new hire. If you absolutely cannot be available, designate a co worker to take the new hire to lunch or cater in for a team meeting all centered around getting to know the new employee.

6.  Keep in mind, the tone you set week one will become the norm. For example, if the employee will be expected to travel frequently or be out in the field selling until 7pm most evenings, don’t send them home at 4pm their first few days because you need time to get some things done.  Instead, schedule the new hire to shadow with senior employees and involve the whole team in making the first few days a realistic yet comfortable atmosphere for the new hire.

These are all simple and easy ways to make the first week on the job more memorable, fun, and comfortable for your new hire. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.  Start off your new employee with a great first week and you will set the tone for the manner in which they show up to perform everyday there after.  Engagement drives productivity, culture, morale, retention, and the bottom line.  New employees tend to show up excited and engaged on day 1; it is up to the organization, managers, and team to ensure the employee is still engaged on day 100.

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