Jack and Jill are both new hires who started their new jobs today. Both of them are nervous. Both of them had other offers. Both are looking for validation that they made the right choice. They both still have lots of logistics questions that they were too embarrassed to ask during the interview process. Both want to make good first impressions.
Jack’s boss enthusiastically greets him at the door. His computer is already set up, and the phone is working. Jack receives a schedule of what’s going to happen that day. He is assigned a peer mentor, who immediately take him on a tour. The next stop is HR where he can ask all of his benefits-related questions. Later in the day, he meets with his boss to align on a few goals for the week.
Jill’s boss keeps her waiting in the lobby. The first words she hears are an apology, “things are just crazy around here.” She is then introduced to the IT guy who “can help get you get set up.” While she waits for the IT guy to come back, she begins introducing herself to those around her. She’s wants to jump in and make a good impression, but is not quite sure where to start. She’s not even sure how to find the restroom.
The First Day Matters
Perhaps you’ve been Jack… or Jill. Or, perhaps you’ve been one of those bosses. We never want our new hires to feel like Jill. And yet sometimes they do.
How the new hire experiences the first day can leave a strong impression. They may wonder,”Am I a priority?”
7 New Hire “Must Haves”
It may seem basic, but over the years I’ve found it useful to create checklists to ensure everyone receives a good new hire experience. Of course, what goes on the list will vary, but here’s a good place to start.
- A Functional Workspace
It’s important to ensure everything is set up BEFORE your new hire gets there. Connected equipment, phones, temporary passwords, user guides, pens, paper… consider anything that your new hire may need to get started well. Having tools that work will go a long way in reducing stress.
- A Tour
It’s important for your new hire to be able to navigate. How do they find their way around? Where do the key players sit? Where are the restrooms and the coffee?
- Overview of the Bigger Picture
It’s important that your new employee feels connected early to the greater vision and goals. Perhaps it’s a welcome letter, or meeting with a senior leader. This can be done in a variety of ways, and the first day is only the beginning.
- A Benefits Meeting
Your new hire will likely have open questions about paychecks, benefits, vacation, code of conduct, and other norms. Many companies have formal programs to go through all of this. Some do not. Either way ensures there is an opportunity for your new hire to ask questions in a safe environment.
- A Peer Mentor
Pick someone “nice” who is “into it.” I have seen this backfire. With that said, this is a great developmental assignment
- Someone to Have Lunch With
It could be the peer mentor, you, or someone else. Even if lunches aren’t part of your culture, today is special. Make sure it feels that way.
- A Few Early Goals
This works at every level of the business. Be clear about expectations for the first week. What do you want your new hire to accomplish?
- What would you add???
How do you ensure your new hires have a great first day?