Preparing for the First Day on the Job

Happy June.  The month of June is a transition month for
many—having graduated in May, they find themselves moving into careers. In
light of that, this month I want to share how to make a great first impression
to the new hires who join your team. Whenever a transition happens, making a
great first impression is vital to an organization!
Have you ever arrived
for an appointment—at a restaurant, at the doctor’s office, for an interview—and
had the feeling like they were not quite ready for you?  This can cause the business to lose a
prospective client or potential valuable employee.  So, what can you do as a business owner to
welcome and retain the best people?
1. Be prepared. Companies must be prepared. Lack of preparation can communicate a lack of appreciation or welcome. Preparation does not need to be extravagant; even simple things matter, such as having a work space prepared with all the relevant tools (computer, phone, etc.) ready to go, providing business cards, a training manual, and a calendar, and offering instructions on how training will proceed. 
2. Give a tour. On the first day, new hires should be shown the facilities and introduced to co-workers. Nothing is worse than not knowing where the bathroom is located on the first day! A company tour is vital for a new employee’s first day of work, even if your office space is small. More than anything, it helps the new employee feel comfortable with their new surroundings and get to know company culture. This also makes them feel a sense of belonging. 
3. Begin training immediately. Start the training on day one. This will enable the new employee to develop confidence about their role and contribution to the organization. Starting small is fine; training could include anything from how to use equipment (phone, access to shared drive or custom CRM system) to what is required for specific assignments. In addition, be sure to explain who clients are and how the new employee will be interacting with them. 
4. Give them small and manageable assignments. New employees do not want to be bored on their first day, but neither do they want to be overwhelmed. By providing a few small, manageable tasks (and be sure to provide plenty of details about what they entail) employees will “get their feet wet” immediately and begin to sense how they fit. It will also give them a sense of purpose on their first day. Meeting all the other employees and getting to know a new office can be overwhelming, and having a small assignment to focus on can be a nice break. 
5. Assign a mentor. Assigning a specific mentor (rather than leaving it up to chance) can enable them to grow as employees. Instead of being overwhelmed by many virtual strangers, they will become acquainted with one person who can guide, answer questions, and offer feedback. Additionally, it can give an up-and-coming manager a chance to stretch their legs. 
6. Get paperwork out of the way early. Paperwork is a necessary part of the onboarding process, and to help new hires be more productive more quickly, organizations should get it out of the way early. Try to keep the process quick and efficient to help avoid making a new employee spend the entire morning of their first day filling out forms. Providing electronic paperwork – even doing so early – would not only be more efficient, but it would be a “greener” solution. 
7. Ask for feedback. Give the new hire a chance to give feedback about their first week. Gather feedback and answer any lingering questions. Then prepare them for the next week. Asking for feedback will give new employees a chance to tell their employers what they need for success, making the transition to a new job easier. It will also help you to refine your own process.  

Starting a new job is
never easy; many new hires feel overwhelmed. But by utilizing these tips,
organizations can make the first day of work a seamless transition and help new
employees feel comfortable and welcome.

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