How to Plan Your New Employee’s First Day
A dash of apprehension. A whole heap of excitement. A bundle of nerves.
Someone’s introduction to a job is not something to be taken lightly.
First impressions are everything, and, from the moment they arrive, a new hire is going to be assessing your company culture and judging whether they made the right decision for their career.
The level of care you put into an employee’s first day can influence their ongoing success, help them feel comfortable asking questions, and provide the foundation for a strong level of communication.
You only have one chance to earn their trust, and, and recognizing that they might be feeling anxious and making accommodations accordingly is just one way you can show your support.
Why is an Employee’s First-Day Important?
31% of new hires leave within the first 6 months. Why?
A lack of support.
If an employee doesn’t feel like a part of the team or is struggling to complete their job, it’s no wonder they promptly hand in their resignation. That’s what makes an employee’s first-day agenda so critical.
There are some boxes to tick.
- Introduce their colleagues (and what they do).
- Ensure they have the correct tools to do their job properly.
- Point out who they can speak to if they encounter any issues.
Right from a new hire’s first day, they’ll be measuring whether you’re a leader that cares. This will influence their engagement and affect their choice to stay; helping you retain your employee.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Your First-Day Schedule for New Employees
If you remember back to your first day at a job, you probably didn’t do much work.
That’s because a new hire’s first day is usually taken up by a whole heap of paperwork, lots of training, and perhaps a few introductions.
Whilst these are certainly essential parts of the overall experience – it can also be a little overwhelming (and, for some, boring).
How to Plan Your New Employee’s First-Day Agenda
You need to be a bit more creative with your approach.
Step 1. Greet Them
First and foremost, you should always be there to welcome new hires on their first day… even if that means showing up to the office early. It’s the worst feeling in the world to already be feeling nervous only to show up and not know who to speak to or where to go.
Step 2. Introduce the Team
Before doing anything else, start pointing out their colleagues. Although it’s tempting to get all the “legal stuff” out of the way, it can be an uncomfortable situation to add to a new employee’s first day.
Say, for example, you only have one break room and put them in it to do their paperwork. In the meantime, strangers are in and out dropping off their coats or boiling the kettle. Pretty soon, they’ll be exposed to a barrage of questions.
Step 3. Tour the Workplace
Next, as you go around making introductions, be sure to point out facilities like their desk, the closest bathroom, and the kitchen as well as job-related essentials like where the printer is.
Step 4. Cover the Paperwork
Then, when your new employee has said hello to everyone and been taken around the workplace, they’ll likely be thankful for a break. Now is the time to add paperwork to your first-day schedule for a new employee. Depending on your business, this could take a couple of hours and usually entails:
- Terms of Agreement.
- Job Contract.
- P45 Registration.
- Identification Checks.
- Retirement Fund Forms.
Step 5. Break for Lunch
After all that, they’ve earnt a well-deserved break.
Where possible, personalize an employee’s first day and order their favourite takeaway for them and their team. Try to organize schedules so that they have a few colleagues to eat with, allowing them to bond in a casual environment.
Step 6. Provide Work Resources
Next up on the new hire’s first-day agenda, give them all the tools they’ll need to do their job.
In today’s digital world – rather than pens and paper – this might include login details and their own company email. If you have an employee handbook, now would be a good time to hand that over so they can keep track of everything.
Step 7. Conduct Training
Then, before they start work, walk them through the various platforms you use and conduct any training that’s required.
Instead of shoving them into a room to watch a video on Health and Safety, consider how you can make the experience more interactive. Can you have a teammate show them where the fire exits are, so they can get to know each other a little bit as they wander the office?
Step 8. Shadow Colleague
Everyone learns in different ways.
Where one person might feel comfortable with a task after simply following a tutorial, another might need to put that information into practice. Therefore, as part of your new hire’s first-day schedule, you should create the opportunity for them to shadow a colleague (if they have one), or, at the very least, use demo software before they mess with the live version.
Step 9. Set Goals
To give them direction, try setting new employee goals. This could include a target for them to be comfortable with a task, or a plan of action for when they’ll be able to complete work by themselves.
Step 10. Answer Questions
The final part of an employee’s first day should provide them with the opportunity to ask questions, making sure they’re confident about everything they’ve encountered today.
Be sure to take each question seriously (even if it seems obvious to you) and be honest and transparent with your answer.
What Could Make a New Hire’s First-Day Special?
There are plenty of ways you can enhance the experience of a first day for a new employee, but the main one is to simply provide them with support and understanding.
Starting a new job is scary enough, but feeling unable to ask questions and having to make guesses about what they should be doing, how to do so, and when (until they’ve found a routine) isn’t a great experience.
Interactive Support with Userlane
Training can be a lengthy process for both the new employee and the person conducting it.
When you have multiple software systems and a growing company that keeps hiring more people, you might need the help of Digital Adoption Platforms.
These provide real-time guidance to all software.