Impressive First Days – Onboarding Done Right

Life is full of firsts! First tooth, first steps, first day of school, first day at work and so on. Firsts are full of unknowns, which make them simultaneously scary and exciting. Do you remember your first day of school? Were you excited to make new friends and learn new things? Did you fret about fitting in? Were the new surroundings a bit overwhelming? Did you have butterflies in your stomach when your name was called? If so, you were not alone.

Now fast forward to your first day on the job. Most certainly, the day was a flurry of paperwork, introductions, handshakes and smiles. Most likely, your supervisor gave you an tour of the facilities and set expectations for performance.  Did those first school day feelings come rushing back?  Was your day full of nerves, questions and unknowns? After the first week were you excited about the team you joined or did wonder if the new job was a good career choice?  Unfortunately, this is a typical employee on-boarding experience.

The impression your company makes on the first day is powerful. Research suggests that the first day is a make or break occasion for employee retention. Yet, many companies do not give those first days the weight or the forethought to make a good impression.

A good on-boarding experience screams “We’re excited for you, we need you, and we’ve got our act together.

So how do you, the hiring manager, start your new employees off right?  Here’s a handy checklist to get started.

On day one of a new job, 67% of Millennials are already thinking about looking for another job.

First Day Checklist:

  • Workstation prepared, clean work surface and fully equipped with supplies, chair, phone, computer, and trash bin
  • Welcome gift presented (branded drink-ware, journal & pen, and a greeting card signed by peers)
  • Meet & greet round-table scheduled. Break the ice and begin the team building. Invite all peers and interrelated colleagues.
  • Employment paperwork completed, job description reiterated, and week’s schedule reviewed
  • Map of building printed, building tour conducted, and cross-department introductions made
  • Informal lunch with manager or closest direct report planned
  • Quiet time set aside to get acquainted with systems settle into work-space
  • End of day check in/Q&A performed by manager