Welcome to Your First Day on the Job

By Amy Hertling-Johnson; Exec. VP of Forté Human Resources- Lakewood
Posted

"I hope I made the right decision.”

“What was that person’s name again?”

“Where will I sit?”

“Will I be able to make friends?”

“What should I wear?”

“I really want to make a good impression.”

Anyone who has started a new job knows what it feels like to be the “new person.”

As managers, we sometimes forget how stressful it can be for the new employee. We almost immediately start thinking, “I need this person brought up to speed as soon as possible. We have work to do!” Your new employee’s first thought is “Can someone please show me where the restroom is?”

The good news is companies are starting to hire again. The bad news is companies are out of practice.

Here is a refresher for those companies who haven’t done a lot of hiring:

  • Be ready – Make sure new employees have business cards, a desk, a computer, a phone, server access, keys and whatever else they need to be self-sufficient. Show them you took the time to get ready for them.
  • Create a plan – Before an employee is hired, all of the key players need to work together to develop a meaningful plan on not only how employees are introduced to their job, but also to the company.
  • Create a checklist – Designate who is responsible for each training aspect you want your new hire to know and by what date it is expected. Share this with the new hire so he is involved and can see who is helping him through this transition. Give him a copy of the job description.
  • Give each new employee a mentor or a buddy – A mentor helps connect the new employee with her team. This person gives the new hire a place to ask questions and helps define your culture: acceptable work hours and dress, how to get supplies, where to get lunch, etc.
  • Make it ongoing – What happens next week or next month? Don’t forget about the new employees. Maybe have a “new hire lunch” once a quarter for all new hires to get together and meet with management to ask questions.
  • Give the employee something meaningful to work on during his first day – This gives the new employee a sense of accomplishment and a readiness to take on more.
  • Let new employees learn about other teams – Create a job-shadowing program where new employees spend an hour with another team so they can fully understand their role within the organization.
  • Give them a map – Give new employees a floor plan of the work area that includes names of co-workers; this gives them names to go with faces.
  • Follow-up – At the end of the new employee’s first week, set aside some time to talk with her about how she is doing so far. What else does she need?
  • Develop a list of FAQ’s – Instead of having new employees figure out what questions to ask, be prepared. Employees tend to ask the same questions when they start: Where can they find those commonly-used files? Who places supply orders? What about expense reports? Where are those restrooms? Have a list of definitions if your firm uses a lot of acronyms.
  • Wrap up their new office supplies like a gift basket – It makes their first day a bit more "celebratory” and is a fun, inexpensive way to liven up an empty office or cubicle.
  • Say "hi" – It’s the fastest and easiest way to make a new person feel welcome and wanted.
  • Introduce the new employee to everyone – Instead of sending out an announcement, have a new hire breakfast or lunch. Give everyone at the company a chance to come together to meet the new employees.

Taking care of our new hires means new employees feel welcomed and engaged faster. They will be productive more quickly and hopefully become key players within our organization.

If you need assistance in this area just let Forté Human Resources know.