What is one word to describe your first day of work?
I can’t help but to think back to my first job right out of college. I was 22 years old and was hired by Tiffany & Co. to be an administrative assistant in their direct marketing and e-commerce department. That day I was nervous as I commuted into New York City on the train, and even more nervous taking the subway to mid-town by myself for the first time ever. If you’re a fan of Tiffany & Co. you might be thinking my first day was glamorous. I will tell you Tiffany & Co. did many things right as a company for my first day. Their orientation was informative and fun – I still remember how to tie a Tiffany bow. Meeting my new team was nice and I was even introduced to a fellow new staff member buddy. They took me around and introduced me to everyone and even had a special lunch planned. Yet, I look back on my first day and the word that comes to mind is actually anything but glamorous, it is in fact GROSS.
The thing I remember most about that day is having to clean out my new desk from the previous persons belongings. Some of it wasn’t too bad, I found a few things that would come in handy, but for the most part it was dirty, dusty, and gross! Welcome to work, your first assignment, get rid of the crap the guy before you left behind. Despite all the wonderful things they did right, the thing that stuck with me the most was how I felt commuting home in my brand new “first day of a real job work clothes, clothes” that were dirty with someone else’s dust. Ew, gross!
Here are 5 tips when preparing for your new hire’s first day!
Have a plan! Whether you have a formal onboarding program or not, it’s important to having a new hire process that all hiring managers are aware of and know how to carry out. When working with clients we often here inconsistencies and we don’t want new employees inconsistently feeling welcomed. You need to be intentional about creating a great first day. If you ask me, don’t include anything having to do with the previous employee in this plan!
Prepare your team. Even before a new hire starts you must prepare your team for a new employee. Perhaps this includes preparing the space! Prearrange time slots with key stakeholders to ensure they schedule in time to meet the new employee. If you have a new nursing assistant that might mean scheduling time with the charge nurse, time with each of their assigned residents to have a meet and greet, before jumping into doing physical work, and hopefully you have an onboarding program that includes the use of mentors/peer mentors or buddy. Schedule time with them too. Make it easy for them to get to know the new employee on their first day. If someone is going to be out of the office that day, give the new employee a heads up and let them know when that person will be available.
Get any paperwork out of the way before day one. I realize this isn’t always possible, but don’t let boring paperwork drag down the excitement that should come along with creating a memorable experience. If you have a bunch of paperwork to do, have the new hire come in the day or week before so that they can hit the ground running and dive right into getting to know people on their first day.
Prepare a welcome announcement. Whether it’s a memo, a sign in the lobby or the breakroom, a share on social media, or at morning meeting, make a welcome announcement introducing the new employee. Include some fun fact, story or antidote about the employee to make it personal to illustrate your enthusiasm to have this employee on the team. If you hired this person because of a particular skill set or they stood out among the crowd because of something they did or said, share it! If they were 1 of 200 candidates, that’s a really cool fact to share.
Set them up for Success! Give them small and manageable assignments on day one. Help build their confidence, don’t over whelm them, and build in extra time on day one for them to get to mingle and meet people. Wait until day 2 to start formal training, and instead focus day one on making sure they have the tools they need to do their job. Provide amble time for them to ask questions. Set them up for success by setting expectations and sharing with them some of the skills/qualities about them that made you want to hire them in the first place. Show them that they are a 10 and they will preform like a 10!
In our next newsletter I’ll dig into another 5 tips to reduce new employee turnover. Expect to learn more about what you can do once they arrive at your door.
This article was written by team member, Allison Duda.