Starting a new job role can be a nerve –racking and sometimes stressful time for any new employee. A first day at any job is usually an array of new information, introductions and paperwork – and all of this is usually prior to them actually starting their first task! Here are some handy tips to bear in mind prior and during your new employee’s start date (and beyond), to make the transition into their new role as easy and stress-free for your new employee as possible.
Meet & Greet
To make things less complicated for the new employee, it is important to make sure that it is the person who did the hiring who greets them and gives them a tour of the building on their first day. Starting a new job in a brand new team of people that you have never seen before is a huge facing, and being greeted by someone that they have seen and spoken to before will make them feel more at ease. It is also important to stop whatever you are doing to greet and welcome your new employee, avoid keeping them waiting.
Introductions are of paramount importance so make sure you introduce the new employee to the rest of the team prior to anything else. It is a good idea to make your team aware of the new starter prior to their start date. Justin Pettie, a client services manager believes that people are the key to positive onborading. He recalls his first day at a new job and states that ‘I found out that the previous week my Manager had made an announcement regarding my engagement and what I would be performing within my role. I felt valued and respected that this had been already done before I arrived. I felt that the team already partially knew me. It was a great feeling.’
DO: Arrive at work prior to your employee’s start time. Remind your team that the employee is starting today.
DON’T: Ask the new employee to wait outside whilst you finish a task.
Make sure everything is ready for them
It is important to remember that an employee’s first day is all about first impressions, and this goes both ways. Just as your new employee will want to make a fantastic first impression on you, it is just as important that you make a great first impression on them. Make sure that everything is ready for them prior to their start date. This includes a computer and password, email and a desk (this may sound like an obvious one, but I have heard of employees arriving to find that a desk hasn’t even been prepared to them). Making sure everything is prepared is of paramount importance; there are not many things less welcoming than the impression that nobody could be bothered preparing for your arrival.
Sujan Patel, in his article ‘How to create an effective onboarding experience at your startup’, writes that ‘Nothing is more demotivating for a new hire than being assigned to a disorganized, dirty desk that seems like an afterthought. By preparing a great space for your new hires up front, you’re telling them that they matter to you and your company.’
DO: Double check that everything is ready for the new employee. Consider having a welcome card signed by the team waiting on their desk for them.
DON’T: Think it is acceptable for a new employee to be waiting days for their computer logins.
Give them a task to complete
It is important that a new employee feels that they are useful and needed within the team from day one. After you have got the formal induction out of the way (building tour, health & safety etc.), give your new employee a relevant task to complete. This not only means that they will not succumb to boredom, but it will become apparent that they are an integral part of the team which in turn will have a positive impact on their productivity. It will also give you first-hand knowledge of how they manage tasks and responsibility within the workplace.
Jeff Schmitt, regular contributor to Forbes Magazine states that, as a hiring manager, you should ‘Show confidence in your new hires early. Earmark some tasks for them before they even arrive… make sure they have a chance to shine early. That confidence will carry over as the stakes get higher.’
DO: Ensure the task you give the new employee is relevant to their job role and seniority level.
DON’T: Throw them in at the deep end.
Ask for their input & give feedback
If you have any team meetings or discussions on the employee’s first day, ask for their input. Doing this will let the employee know that you value their opinion and will make them feel more involved in the team from day one. If their input is exceptional, tell them!
Jeff Schmitt writes that a great leader ‘provides regular feedback on performance, knowing that the best people crave candidness and loath sugarcoating’. Being honest (but not brutal) with feedback right from the beginning will make your new employee aware that you value their work and are willing to invest in their personal development, which will increase their engagement and productivity within their new role.
DO: Encourage your employee to be creative with their input. Be constructive with feedback.
DON’T: Forget that it may take some time for a new employee to be completely confident with giving an original input, especially in team/company meetings.
This blog post is part of a series on welcoming new employees. Keep your eyes peeled for part 2!