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9 Ways to welcome a new employee for the perfect first day at work

Every new employee knows how important it is to make a great first impression. But it’s just as important for employers. Here's how to ensure you are doing all you can to create an awesome first day.
Published 14 Jun 2022
5 min read
7 ways that HR can give new starters a perfect first day

First impressions count. That’s why it’s important that you have everything set up to give new starters a first day at work to remember – for all the right reasons. We always remember the first day we start a new job, and those memories are especially clear if things didn’t go smoothly.

For example, if we were waiting hours for our manager to turn up…or if we were sat twiddling our thumbs because we didn’t have access to the right equipment… So let’s make sure that when your new employee’s first day comes to an end, they know they’ve made the right decision in becoming part of your business. If you follow these 7 simple tips, you won’t go far wrong.

How to create an awesome day to welcome new employees

Creating a great first day for new employees starts before they arrive.

Tip #1. Onboard employees before their first day

Onboard your employees before their first day at the office. A first day at work spent filling out paperwork and waiting to get logged into a computer can be tedious and uninspiring. It can also make your business look unorganised. The sooner your new starter fills out all the necessary HR and payroll forms, the better. This used to mean a mountain of paperwork, but not any more.

Employment Hero, for example, offers a paperless onboarding solution that makes this process quick and efficient. In fact, it can all be done days or even weeks before the new employee starts – making it one less thing they need to worry about on day one. Part of the onboarding process should include a phone call from the employees new manager who welcomes them to the team and confirms a start date and time.

Read more: Our comprehensive guide to employee onboarding to creating an excellent onboarding experience.

Using an HRIS platform like Employment Hero can help with more effective communication between new employees and existing staff. You can also easily create announcements, display your company culture, create a welcome message, and introduce new staff to the rest of the team.

Tip #2. Start on a Wednesday at 10am

After much experimentation we found Wednesday at 10am is an optimal start day and time for a new starter. A shorter working week means new employees won’t be overloaded with information and has the weekend to digest all they’ve learned. A midweek start is also easier on the team. Mondays and Tuesdays are usually busy and managers and existing staff aren’t able to give as much time as they’d like to their new co-worker.

Tip #3. Make the entire team aware of new team members first day at work

Communicate the details of a new starter’s arrival with the team a few days beforehand, so that their team members can prepare a few words for their introduction. This will help avoid those situations where everyone’s too busy to offer nothing more than a quick ‘hello’ to a new starter – because that’s the kind of thing that can make a new workplace seem less than welcoming.

Tip #4. Make sure the new starter’s manager is prepared

The best way to prepare for the first day of a new employee is to create a new starter welcome pack for managers, not for employees themselves. These packs include everything a manager needs to do on their new starter’s first day. So they’ll be there to give them a warm welcome on arrival and are fully prepared to introduce them to the business.

Tip #5. Check that their workspace is ready for their first day at work

Having a new employees computer set up and ready to go makes a huge difference. Ensure that when they start their computer is ready to go and relevant log-in information is clearly communicated. We leave a ready printout on our employee’s desk. Make sure you also include a notepad, pens and highlighters.

The next step is to get creative and make a new starter’s desk look and feel welcoming! Include company merch and a welcome sign with a picture of the new team member. A gift basket filled with snacks and lollies and welcome messages are also a good idea.

Tip #6. Give them a mentor to help them out on their first day at work

Here’s something that the better HR departments have been doing for a while – assigning mentors to new starters, and creating HR ‘mentoring’ packs full of essential advice. A good mentor will be someone the ‘new guy’ can trust to show them the ropes and answer their questions. It could be someone doing a similar job in the same team, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are lots of advantages in having a mentor from another part of the business that can offer your new employee a different perspective on things. The opportunity of becoming a mentor could also be seen as an attractive proposition for up-and-coming employees interested in being recognised as management material.

Tip #7. Prepare an induction checklist

It’s all about educating to inspire. Many companies do not offer formal inductions but an overview of the company culture and values, the different teams and how they work plus information about their goals and responsibilities, is crucial. An induction helps a new starter feel more involved with a company and quickly gets them on board with your mission and the big goals you are trying to achieve.

It should contain all the information they need to be aware of, and the people they need to be introduced to in order to do their job effectively. An example of this checklist can be found in our employee onboarding template. Go through this checklist with your new starter on their first day, so that they understand their induction plan and why it’s needed.

If you’re imagining that this checklist is a mere slip of paper, then think again. At Employment Hero, we offer an online solution with all the induction content that you might need, and room to add more. We’ve created an onboarding checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything important!

Tip #8. Don’t let a new employee eat lunch alone

Organise a team lunch on a new employee’s first day! This seems like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised by how many companies do not do this. If a group lunch isn’t possible try to make sure at least one other team member can dine with the new employee. Employment Hero has a system where you can easily send alerts and reminders to staff, allowing you to easily follow up on an issue like this.

Tip #9. Surprise them

I’m leaving this last suggestion deliberately vague because this is your chance to let your imagination run wild. Think about giving your new starter a little something that shows them you care. It could be free lunch on the first day. It could be some chocolates left on their desk, along with a welcome message from the CEO. It doesn’t get much better than that… I hope you found this article useful.

If you need some assistance in getting your new starter settled in, Employment Hero can help. We’ve got a slick online onboarding process that will speed things up and make life easier, for your HR department AND your new employees.

Download now

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