They say that first impressions count, so when it comes to a new employee’s first day in the office, it’s understandable why they might be nervous. Between hitting it off with colleagues, figuring out where to each for lunch and remembering everyone’s name, there is much more to a first day than just impressing the boss.
As this first ‘break in’ day can be cause for much stress for both the hiring manager and new employee, we’ve devised seven useful tactics to make sure that your new hire can quit feeling like the ‘new guy’ and more part of the team from day one:
- Make contact before their start date
Make them feel welcome even before they walk through the door. For example, you might email them to let them know that you and the rest of the team is looking forward to their start date, or add them on LinkedIn or Twitter. You could even post a tweet about the new team member joining your company in the near future to make them feel especially welcome.
- Clear their desk
Your new employee’s desk should be a blank canvas. Make sure to do a final sweep to make sure there are no loose papers from a previous employee still lying around in the drawers, and that it is neat with very few items. This will be your employee’s own space in the office, so try your best to make sure that it feels like their own from the very first time they sit at it.
- Give them a welcome pack
A welcome pack should include everything they may need to know about the office and their typical workday. Do you have a designated work hour? What’s your policy on phone usage on work time? Is there a code to dial out on the office phone? Make sure that your new hire is fully equipped.
Not only will this help them get to grips with their new role, but by giving them branded items like a new notebook and set of pens, you are identifying them as a part of your company, and already a member of the team.
- Take them on a tour
A tour lets your employee get comfortable with the office space and find out the essentials, such as where the bathrooms are, where to get coffee, and where to park. This also allows your employee to ask questions about things you may not have even thought to mention until you physically walked past them.
- Assign them a task
Your new hire is probably keen to get started and show off their skills, so don’t leave them to organise their desk all day. Assign them a thoughtful and important, yet not crucial, part of a current project, and give them a generous deadline. This way of easing them into their work, without putting too much pressure on them, allows a new hire to get to grip with the work and the office environment, while making them feel like a valued member of the team.
- Introduce the team
Your new employee will no doubt strike up conversations with those around them naturally, but it’s also a good idea to have a schedule team chat to ensure the ice is broken office-wide. Ideally, this would be a casual twenty to thirty minute meeting, where you can have coffee together and provide your new hire with a snapshot of each person’s role.
Try to arrange this on a Friday, when employees are already starting to wind down for the weekend, or another low-stress day. You will find the rest of the team much more relaxed and focused on the conversation, instead of email inboxes and deadlines.
- Connect outside the office
Add your new employee to any groups or chats on social media, so that they can be included from the social goings on of the office and stay up to date on any plans. Another nice touch is to arrange a team lunch or night out to celebrate them joining the team. This gives a new hire more of an opportunity to connect with their coworkers in a zero-stress situation.
Of course, if you want to truly put your new employee at ease, one of the best things to do is be a friend. Answer their questions, show them the ropes, and don’t let them sit by themselves at lunchtime. Your new employee will appreciate your kindness and support more than you may realise.