How to Create a Great Day 1 at Work…

One of our friends recently moved into town. Their child goes to the same school as ours and is in the same class. She called a couple of days back asking if our daughter could help her daughter settle in class better. As a new student, she was finding it tough to find her way around and the other kids were taking their time to let her get into the group.

It got me thinking about Day 1 at workplaces. When someone changes jobs, there is so much excitement, hope and anticipation about the new workplace. After all, the reason for changing jobs was due to some challenges and the need for something better. However, when you land up in the new work place, many a times you feel like you are marooned in an island, isolated, lonely and sometimes wondering if the change was even worth it.

I think there are some simple things that can be done to make the person feel welcome. It is like someone visiting your home and how you would extend your hospitality.

Be ready and prepared: From the workstation, to computers, to email ids and anything else that is needed for the new person to get started, make them available and ready before the person joins. The paperwork should be kept ready and a lot of time should not be spent in getting it done. It just shows that the company cares about and thought of the person even before they arrived

Don’t keep people waiting: It is not the best experience for a new person joining to wait for long durations to get started with any formalities. Also, a warm welcome at the reception goes a long way

Treat equal: Irrespective of the title or rank of the person, extend the same courtesies

A pleasant short tour helps: To let the person know what is where. It is a bit uncomfortable not knowing where to go in the office

Lunch: This one is important. There is nothing worse than having lunch alone on Day 1. Get someone from the team or the manager to take the person for lunch

Make the right introductions: Many times introductions are short, curt and everyone goes back to what they are doing. An introduction with a little background goes a long way in breaking the ice

Have a plan: This is for managers. Despite running busy schedules, it is important to spend some time planning the on-boarding. It is important to keep the team informed as well, so that they are aware and can help out. The new employee will take time to settle in, but have an outline or framework (trainings, assignments, buddy etc.) to help them integrate into the new environment seamlessly. And, spend some time welcoming them, telling them something about the company, the project and the overall culture. It is always nice to make people feel valued and show that you care

There is a lot of effort that goes in hiring a new employee. Day 1 is almost like the last mile and many a times we seem to overlook the importance and the value of it. After all, you do want the new employee to feel that they made the right choice and are excited to come back the next day…