Being the “new kid” at a job is uncomfortable for anyone, no matter what their position or rank. And most often it is the little things that tend to worry people – how to work the phone system, turn on the computer, where the bathrooms are.
To make your new hires feel like part of your team from the get-go, it’s imperative that you have a “first-day plan of action” in place to help them ease into the swing of things. Your goal? To make them feel comfortable, welcome and give them a great first impression of your organization and your team!
Tips to get your new employees off to a super start:
Don’t park people in Human Resources. If there is paperwork to be filled out, have your new employee do it in your office, or theirs. If they must visit Human Resources, escort them up, and make sure they are taken care of graciously and efficiently. Spending hours in Human Resources on the first day of a new job can make people feel disconnected and uncomfortable.
Office, cubicle or desk- help your new person settle in. Be sure to clean up the area where your new person will be working. Flowers or some other departmental “welcome” are a wonderful touch and greatly appreciated in a bare office. Show your new person how to use the phone, turn on the computer, access email, contact people internally and externally, and make sure he/she has a copy of the employee phone list.
Use the “buddy system.” Choose one of your people to take on the role of “buddy” and guide your new hire through his/her first day. It will be the buddy’s responsibility to show the new person where the amenities are (cafeteria, break room, bathrooms, elevators, copy machines, etc.) and introduce him/her to key people including peers, vice presidents, department heads, and other managers.
Provide a “map” of your department or floor. Often, large organizations are so complex, the danger of getting lost in the halls is very real for new recruits! To offset this problem, it helps to create a map of your floor, complete with the location of everyone’s offices, the bathrooms, the Xerox machine, conference rooms, computer printers, coffee machines, recycling bins, vending machines etc. You may want to have your creative department design a “master map” that can be Xeroxed for new employees whenever the need arises.
Treat your new employee to lunch. Let him/her relax while you keep the conversation rolling and discuss the general game plan for the next few weeks. Make sure he/she is aware of any upcoming meetings, presentations, conference calls, or other events. Give your new person a chance to ask questions, offer support and encouragement, and let them know how glad you are they came on board!