J. Kent's Blog - Articles for Employers and Job Seekers

Getting New Employees Off To A Positive Start

Posted by: Emma Berdanier on December 5th, 2019

The most vulnerable time for a new employee is their first week on the job. This is when they’re getting acquainted with office culture and their new role. This is also the time when their impression of you and your company will be set in their minds. This impression will affect employee morale, performance, and even employee retention. It’s not hard to set things up well, but it does require a plan and a process.

Common Mishaps to Avoid

In a recent survey conducted by Accountemps, 59% of working professionals experienced a mishap when beginning a new role, and 62% of those individuals experienced two or more of the following:

  • 39% said their new employer did not set up their office technology
  • 24% said they were not provided necessary supplies
  • 21% said their employer did not introduce them to their new coworkers
  • 20% said they didn’t receive an overview of the company and its policies
  • 17% said they didn’t receive a tour of the office

Many employees expressed dissatisfaction with their company’s onboarding process. They cited inconsistencies with the execution of the process and poor planning of it. When asked how effective the process is for new employees, they responded as follows:

  • 33% found it to be very effective
  • 46% found it to be somewhat effective
  • 16% found it to be either not very effective or not effective at all
  • 5% stated their company has no onboarding process

Before an Employee’s First Day

It takes any company both time and resources to ensure that they are 100% ready for each employee on their start date. Companies need to know who is responsible for each part of the process. Creating a successful first day at work for your new employee relies on preparing ahead of time. Here are some recommendations for preparation.

New Employee Preparation Checklist:

  • Workspace – make sure it’s clean and stocked with supplies.
  • Computer – all necessary applications should be loaded and tested; usernames and temporary passwords should be created; their email should be set up with their employee signature.
  • Phone – add them to the company directory.
  • Business cards – although some companies wait to order business cards, it’s extra welcoming for a new employee to have their business cards on Day 1.

A few days before your new employee’s start date, send them a welcome email that includes:

  • Dress code, parking instructions, arrival time, who to ask for when they arrive.
  • Items they need to bring in on their first day, i.e. I-9 identification and direct deposit information.
  • Information about their lunch break. If you plan on taking them to lunch on their first day, let them know so that they don’t bring a lunch with them. Or, let them know they can bring their lunch, or offer suggestions on quick lunch options convenient to the office.
  • Agenda for their first day, so they know what to expect.

Ensuring a Smooth and Welcoming First Day

Employers need to plan for creating a successful first day at work for their new employees. These plans should include interactions with many different employees in the organization. These introductions should include management, HR, and team members/co-workers. Be sure to include the following on their first day:

  • A complete tour of the office.
  • Introductions to other staff.
  • Orientation on technology including usernames and passwords needed for the computer, software applications, and the company telephone system.
  • Orientation on company policies and benefits.
  • Explaining the Training Plan. Communicate how training will take place and who will be conducting the training (yes – training needs a plan all on its own!).
  • Have the boss set aside time to meet with the new employee; if not possible on their first day, ideally sometime during their first week.

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