No matter how excited someone is about her new job, the first day is always stressful, and that stress seems to increase in direct relation to the size of the company. A proper employee orientation can go a long way towards relieving any anxiety for the new hire, and it will help her to become a productive team member much more quickly.
Be there to welcome the new employee on his first day, especially if he is a direct report of yours. Many organizations leave new hires at the mercy of Human Resources on their first day, which can be intimidating and often confusing. Although spending time with the Human Resources group is inevitable, you can schedule time at the end of the day to meet with the employee and answer any questions he may have.
Have the new employee's workspace ready, whether that space is an office, cubicle or locker. CareerBuilder says that an empty workstation for a new employee is similar to what a messy home signals to a house guest. Do not leave the employee to fend for herself and waste time contacting maintenance, IT and security to get things done. Make sure her computer is set up and functional, the phone is working, and all of her office access cards are ready to go.
Introduce your new hire to the team. Although you can gather everyone and do a group introduction, casual introductions to team members on an individual basis will feel less intimidating. Make arrangements for one or more of the team members to take the new employee to lunch to help him become further acquainted, and give him a chance to ask questions out of earshot of the boss.
Make sure the new employee understands the company culture. Every firm has unwritten rules and unique idiosyncrasies in its culture, and educating the new employee on what they are can save him some embarrassment. Executive search firm Creative Financial Staffing says that you should discuss everything, from the dress code to the company’s ethics policy.
Include the new worker in group events from day one, whether it is a weekly staff meeting, cake for someone’s birthday or the company softball team. There is nothing more disconcerting for a new employee then to be excluded from the group, even if it is unintentionally.
Set goals for the employee right away, no matter how trivial the tasks may seem. Boston College advises that assigning projects for the employee’s first day helps to reduce anxiety, engage her in the job and make her feel useful and needed. First-day projects could include reviewing the previous job holder’s files, completing a task specific to that job or department, or simply setting up computer and voice mail passwords.
Immerse the employee in the new job by setting up short- and medium-term goals, as well as weekly meetings to assess his progress. The assignments will help the employee to figure out what questions he has, and the weekly meetings will help you to assess his progress.