Recently a friend of mine had his first day of work with a new employer. The company was famous to be very employer-friendly. Surprisingly, my friend experienced the opposite: When he came, his boss was not around. No one told him what he had to do. An initial training was not announced. And when he wanted to go to lunch, he found himself alone in the office. He just felt lost at his new workplace. Bad start.
Probably this was just bad luck: Some urgent issue came in on that very morning. Or the whole staff was on an external training. We don’t know. Nevertheless that report made me think on the importance of the first day of work from a manager’s perspective.
In my position as team leader I attach great importance to the first day of work for new members in my team. A good first impression is a foundation for a good relationship with the direct report. Here’s what I do for new employees on their first day:
- I make sure that his desk, computer, email-account etc. is ready.
- I organize a welcome card and a small gift if put on his or her desk.
- I organize an introduction program where the new team member meets someone from every department.
- I introduce him to every staff member. I am making sure that everyone knows his role. And the he knows what people are relevant to him. Him being able to build an internal network quickly is essential to become productive quickly.
- I make sure that I am available for him.
- I organize a lunch with the team.
By observing these points I make sure that the new staff member feels comfortable and welcome. And that he knows what to do. That extra effort is worth it.