It’s a great day for Ms. New Hire and for the Company. A brand new person has joined the team, and everyone’s excited. Let’s walk through that first day on the job and make sure it’s full of little successes.
First day for a new hire: checklist
1. Dress code
She’s staring into her closet picking out her first-day outfit. Does she grab the distressed jeans and her favorite band’s t-shirt, or a business suit in a neutral color? If you’re a Good Boss, she already knows because you told her in the interview or during the offer.
Appropriately dressed now, she slides into the parking lot with plenty of time to spare, but where does she go? She used the Visitor’s space when she came for the interview, but she’s not a Visitor anymore. She’s also not Employee of the Month – yet. So where does she park?
Is she on time? Did you tell her what time to be there? Does your business have specific hours, or can she be flexible? Make sure she knows what you expect. “First thing in the morning,” might mean seven o’clock to you and eight-thirty to her.
4. Clock In
Okay, she’s there! The clock is ticking! Or is it? How does she clock in? Let’s hope you’re savvy enough to have an electronic system that she can download to her phone. Give her a password and get her going.
Keep the government happy. Give her all of the paperwork you need from the new hire for HR and payroll. Don’t forget those I-9 documents! Get all the boxes checked and all the signatures affixed.
6. Coffee and Snacks
Are those scones in the break room for everyone? Make sure she’s offered one. Show her the coffee machine and how to use it. Who is responsible for making a fresh pot? Where are the supplies? Is it okay to take that pastry back to her/his desk with her?
7. Computer and Passwords
She’s finally ready to work! Except, she can’t get into the computer. Did IT forget to set up her username and password? To make her feel really welcome, have this ready for her. Also, show her the email program you use and have her mailbox ready. Wouldn’t it be cool if she had a welcome email waiting for her when she first logs in?
8. Show her the ropes
Who’s going to teach her what to do and how to do it? Have that person ready and smiling. If she needs any specific tools, have those available for her, too. Paper, pens, pencils, a stapler! Show her the supply cabinet and let her get whatever she needs. Then get on with the training.
9. Break time
It’s been a busy morning, but she could really use a quick trip down the hall to the, uh, you know…… Don’t make her ask where it is or when she can go. How embarrassing! Show the new hire the Ladies Room, and tell her the policy. Are there specific times for breaks? Or does she just go when she needs to?
Do a whistle blow at High Noon and everyone files out together? Does she go when she’s hungry? How long does she stay? Let her know what to expect. The best thing of all would be to take her and some of her coworkers out together on the first day. It’s a great way to start the bonding process. Provide her with a list of nearby restaurants – along with staff favorites. Or invite her to bring her own lunch and eat in the break room. Is there a group that changes to their sneakers and walks a couple of miles at lunchtime? Make sure she knows about it, and invite her to join in.
11. Cell Phone Policy
This is a hotly debated topic. Can she receive personal calls during the day? What if it’s an emergency? Make sure she understands your policy and knows what to do. Ringer off, emergencies only? Okay to check on her kids via Nanny-cam on her phone? How often? A clearly stated policy will curtail any abuse.
12. Quitting Time
Don’t make her sit forlornly at her desk watching others scamper excitedly out the door. If you clearly stated her hours in the first place, then she knows what time to go home. Do you want her to check with you before she leaves, or can she just get up and go at five o’clock? Or at ten o’clock? Or whatever time her day ends? But you’re a Good Boss, and you’ve kept an eye on her all day, so you know when she’s ready to wrap it up. Tell her to thank you for a great first day and let her know you’re eager to do it again tomorrow.
13. Peer Pressure
It’s a big day for your current staff, too. Do they feel threatened? Most people don’t like change. Make sure everyone on the team understands Ms. New Hire’s position and what it means to him or her. Your existing staff should be just as happy about this new person as you are. It will help them do a better job too. Make that clear to everyone.
It’s the little things that make a big difference. You can buy a lot of team loyalty with a great first day for the new hire. Make it the best!