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How to Prepare for a New Hire's First Day

iconnew hire icon4 min read
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The first day at a new job can be overwhelming. Chances are your new hire is excited, but stressed about their new opportunity. With a structured onboarding process, you can help the new employee easily transition into their new role with ease. Some pre-onboarding preparation combined with an outline of their first day will make both you and the new employee more confident and comfortable. 

Pre-onboarding

Pre-onboarding is often overlooked by employers, which is a big mistake. The pre-onboarding process is an introduction of what’s to come (i.e. the full onboarding experience) and should start as soon as the new employee accepts the position. During this period they will want to learn more about your organization, so help them out by providing links to company policies, blogs, or newsletters to get the ball rolling. At the very least, send them a welcome email so they feel prepared and included before their first day on the job. You could include their orientation schedule, a reminder of what materials to bring on their first day, and any other relevant information in this email to help them feel prepared.

There are a few things you can do on your end about a week before your new employee’s starting date to help make their first day run as smooth as possible. To assist you with this, we have created a checklist you can follow:

Gather the Following Materials:

  • Your company’s employee handbook

  • A nameplate or employee ID

  • A calendar

  • Business cards

  • Necessary office equipment, such as a computer, phone, etc

Prepare Their Work Area:

  • Assign the new hire a workstation

  • Gather reference material such as phone directory, organization charts, voicemail instructions, etc

  • Put together some company gear such as t-shirts, pens, and mugs

Tasks for the Supervisor to Complete:

  • Organize a new hire lunch

  • Secure an email address and phone number

  • Schedule employee photos

  • Prepare an onboarding packet

  • Schedule trainings

  • Prepare a new hire introduction email

  • Add the employee to the online Onboarding platform

Having an online Onboarding platform, like Dominion’s, is ideal for any business. It ensures that all employee data is secure and available at all times. As long as the Onboarding platform you use pairs well with your payroll system, then all information entered into onboarding should automatically carry over to payroll and their employee self service portal. 

The First Day

The day has come and your new hire has arrived in your office for orientation. By now you should have all the tasks on the previous checklist completed. Their desk is fully stocked with notepads and pens, and their computer is all set for them to log in and get started. 

Chances are, your new hire is going to walk in on their first day somewhat nervous, so help them feel comfortable as much as possible. Your primary goal for their first day is to make them feel welcome, so follow these tips to help you do just that:

Get to Know Them 

If possible, take them out to lunch so you can talk about non-work related topics and get to know each other better. If this isn’t feasible, sit with them during lunch or set up some time to chat on their first day. At this point you are likely the only person whose name they even remember, so be invested in their life so they have a friendly face around the workspace.

Give a Tour

Show your new employee the important areas around their workspace. Since this is their first day, the new employee will need to know where to find certain people, the location of printers, the lunchroom, restrooms, supplies, and so on. By giving them a tour of the workspace, you are helping them feel more comfortable and allowing them to get acclimated with their new daily environment. During the tour, make sure you introduce them to key individuals in your company such as management, the receptionist, the HR Director, and of course, other individuals in their department. 

Be Present

It’s crucial that you are available at all times during the new hire’s first few days. Since you are probably the person who interacts the most with new employees, being available for them to ask questions and offer direction is important, so make them your top priority. If you have an office, keep your door open so they feel comfortable coming in and speaking with you. Also, make a point to swing by their workstation a few times during their first day to make sure everything is going well. 

Be Creative 

No one wants to sit through hours and hours of a slideshow presentation. Instead, try making the new-hire orientation interactive. Come up with activities that they can do while learning about the company and their new role at the same time. Keep in mind that the new employee is receiving a lot of information, so it is helpful to divide the orientation into small segments. Create an agenda and try to stick to it throughout the day.

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