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The First Day: Stressful Chaos or a True Welcome

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

You finally found the person you wanted to fill the position you have been looking to fill for a few months if not longer. After hours and hours of reviewing applications, resumes, background checks, and interviews, it’s your new employee's the first day on the job. You have already invested resources in hiring your new employee. Now, you want to make sure you don’t lose them! One of the most memorable days is the first day at a new job. Your new employee is already stressed about making a good impression, and they have a list of tasks they have to complete before they can begin working on what you hired them to do.

Many organizations that I have worked for depended heavily on OJT (On the Job Training) for their onboarding, which resulted in someone showing me where my office and computer were and then “learning as I go,” not seeing anyone for hours unless I went and looked for them. In one of the positions that I held, I had come back to my car with parking tickets on it while parking in the organization's parking lot. I didn’t know that I needed a parking permit until I had a ticket, but in order to get the parking pass, I needed my ID card. I had no idea how to get either one. So after asking multiple people and finding out what to do, I was able to get started on the process. One of the worst feelings your new employee can have is being lost and too overwhelmed on the first day. Remember, you hired them for a reason, and you want to keep them!

Fast forward a few years, and I was hired. My team and I had all been through the chaos of the first day, and we didn’t want our new team members to go through the same hectic experience. We discussed different ideas on how to help make it a smoother transition. Afterward, we created a list of how to help on the first day that consisted of some basic but often overlooked tasks. For example:

  • Key for office space

  • Access to the main building

  • Access to the employee parking lot

  • Have the required paperwork ready for their signature

  • Have computer access ready for them to sign in on the first day and all other needed software access.

  • Have a general outline of daily tasks

  • Have reoccurring meeting times outlined

  • Set up one on one meetings with current staff to meet with their new teammate

These are just some of the tasks, and, although they may seem simple, they are a way to show your new employee that you want them to stick around and also make the first-day less stressful. The more simple tasks that you can have completed before your employee begins will make the first day that much easier.

Now, I understand that some tasks cannot begin until an employee begins, but you have it lined up to be completed quickly on their arrival. For example, we had to wait for an employee to begin their first day before they could log into the company's server, but we could set up an appointment for an IT representative to arrive during their first day to assist in the process.

In conclusion, your new employees' first day is an exciting day for both of you, and it will have an everlasting impression on you and your employee. Start it off on the right foot!

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