How To Create A Memorable First Day
19 April 2017
A first day at work, as a fully grown, independent adult, can be just as scary as the first time you waved your parents goodbye at the school gates.
Nerves, uncertainty, excitement … It’s all a big part of an employee’s first day (and no doubt the night before, too).
As an employer, it’s important to make a good first impression of what working life will be like at your business – new employees aren’t the only ones under scrutiny! Up until this point, an employee has maybe only had glimpses at your company culture and their colleagues by coming to interview.
It’s important that you make sure, as an employer and a representative of your business brand, that a new employee’s first day feels personal and positive. Whether it’s an entry level or senior position, giving someone a good first day is fundamental.
It might feel like we’re stating the obvious but how much of the following do you really do to welcome a newbie?
Send a welcome email
Ahead of your new employee starting, you should send an email to their team (or the whole company) to introduce your new start and even include a link to their LinkedIn profile. This way, people can put a face to a name before someone new starts. It’s also a good way to start conversations between new colleagues.
Greet them personally
Okay, every day is probably really busy for you but make a point of being one of the first faces a new employee sees on their first day. A warm welcome and a familiar face (if you have met them previously at the interview stage) will go a long way to easing nerves. If you have time, make a lunch date for the day or at some point during their first week with a few other team members.
It might seem a bit daft, but taking a new start round the office to introduce them to their new colleagues is very important. It will follow up from your initial email welcoming the employee and allow them to get a feel for the layout of the office and meet as many new names as they can on day one. It’s helpful to say what team the new start is joining and list a few of their key skills.
Make a care package
So, your new start has their own desk. Why not put together a little goodie bag? Company branded (or not) mousepad, mug, pen, notebook, earphones ... That sort of thing. You could maybe even throw in their elevenses for the first day or suggest good local places for lunch. The important thing is making someone feel comfortable and provide them with items that are genuinely useful for their day-to-day.
Involve the team
Making sure that the team that a new employee will be joining has an input on their induction is really important. It will let a new start get a feel of their role in the team – and who does what. It’s a nice way of encouraging collaboration from the outset.
Create a full beginner’s brief
Put together a schedule for their first week. Set up meetings, training and in-depth introductions with relevant colleagues throughout the week. Make sure that any initial tests or reading of induction manuals are also factored in to the brief. If their team members are working on a particular project at the time of their joining, set up some time to let the new employee observe and see how things are done.
Set initial goals
Just because it’s their first day, doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to aim for. Maybe it’s an attempt at a project or simply remembering everyone’s name, it’s important to set small initial goals, especially if you are a company that are regularly working towards targets. This might also help a new employee grasp what is expected of them in a clearer manner.
Debrief at the end of the day
Nothing says “I haven’t forgotten about you!” like a quick catch up over a cuppa before the end of the day. Make time for a meeting about half an hour before clocking off time to go over how their first day has been. Mention a couple of the items on their schedule to see how they found the tasks. The key is to come across as if you are actually interested and not just shooting the breeze.
Once we’ve placed a candidate in a job, we’ll always follow up with a phone call or email to find out how they are adapting to pastures new.
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Written By Mary Palmer