All of us can remember the nervousness and excitement of starting a new job. That first day is an opportunity for existing employees to get acquainted with their new colleague. It’s also a time for the new employee to assess the organization and coherence of their new company.
In short, it is everyone’s best interest to make the first day a good one.
A company needs to make sure an employee’s first day is not left to chance. Extra attention should be paid to meticulously planning the day and coming up with a “first day template” for future employees.
Reportedly, at tech giant Apple, employees are given a short note that expresses the company’s philosophy.
“…People don’t come here to play it safe. They come here to swim in the deep end. They want their work to add up to something. Something big. Something that couldn’t happen anywhere else.”
Not every company is a behemoth like Apple. But the principle remains the same: Integrate new employees as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some of the elements of that “first-day strategy” personnel experts recommend include:
- Designate a person to greet the new employee. It sounds basic, but sometimes does not happen. Make sure this doesn’t fall through the cracks and stress the importance of this “greeter” duty.
- Have the employee fill out tax and employment forms and hand out a pre-prepared packet of important company information.
- Have the boss or important supervisor take the employee out to lunch, if possible. Make sure the employee realizes the company values their hiring.
- Introduce the employee to various departments. Don’t silo the employee to their department. Make sure they see the breadth of the company and how all the different areas work together.
- At the end of the day, outline the week ahead. By this time, the new employee’s head will be spinning with new names, computer equipment and company protocol. Give them a glimpse of what is ahead. Given them a precise understanding how they will be mainstreamed into the normal workflow.
Both the company and the new employee desire to get past the first day awkwardness and into a normal routine. A company’s organizational skills can shrink that time frame dramatically.