As the day approaches for my new hire to start working with the team, I’m thinking about how important his first few days on the job are. These first few days are my only opportunity to make sure he has a smooth transition to his new position, and get him to want to come back after the weekend.
A new job can be as stressful as it is exciting. There’s a lot for the new hire to do and tons to learn when they get here on the first day. Many companies have a formal orientation that takes place on the first day, where they learn the history of the company, review their benefits options, tour the offices, etc. But orientation shouldn’t end there; you should also prepare something to orient your new team member to the team and the way things work in your department.
Here are some things to consider doing the first week your new hire is on the job:
- Introduce the new hire to everyone on your team. Provide him/her with a contact sheet for quick reference, and maybe even an org chart.
- Introduce the new hire to key stakeholders in your business and/or customers that they will be working with. You might even consider reviewing at a high level how other departments are structured, and where those people fit in the scheme of things.
- Send an email to everyone in your department or division welcoming the new hire, highlighting his/her background. Don’t forget to copy him/her.
- Take the whole team out for lunch, so they can start getting to know each other better in an informal setting.
- Have a copy of the branding guide printed and ready for them to review. Consider also aligning him/her directly with another person to help learn the brand.
- Review all of the local/departmental tools, resources, and processes they will be using on the job.Consider pairing him/her with another person so they can ask questions of someone besides you (if you’re the boss, they may feel awkward about asking you these questions).
- Give them space to get used to being here.
In regards to the the tools, resources, and processes, I highly recommend putting together a reference guide for new hires. In my group, we created a document titled “a day in the life”, which is structured to follow daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks. It includes everything from instructions on how to use our project management tools to boiler-plated emails that can save them some time. This document has been very successful in on-boarding full-time staff as well as temps who generally need to hit the ground running.
Remember, when you were interviewing candidates for the open position they were interviewing you as much as you were interviewing them. Consider these first few days an extension of the recruiting process: now that they are here on the job, this first week is going to either solidify in their mind that they made the right decision to work for you, or cause them to wonder what they have gotten themselves into.