Culture: The Importance of a New Teammate’s First Day

Let’s fastforward through the hiring process and assume you have found a perfect new teammate that has all of the necessary skills and the personality to fit your great company culture. They walk in on their first day looking fresh as a flower ready to get started. The scope of this article is the onboarding process that starts from here, the first day on the job. This is a key time to impress your company culture on the new hire and set expectations. Here are some tips to ensure it goes smoothly:

1. Be prepared

No matter the size of your company, at a minimum you should have an onboarding check list and documented process. You want to show that your company values organization and attention to detail. What accounts does the person need? What computer will they be assigned? Is all the paperwork done? Before the person arrives you should have a scheduled plan for what will happen on the first day. If an access code or badge is required to get in the building, make sure they have at least two teammates’ contact info. Also, be sure the person’s work space is clean.

2. Give them a warm welcome

Nothing shows an organization’s value of teamwork like having teammates happy to have the new hire join them. Before they arrive all teammates should understand what the person’s role on the team will be. Sometimes people are suspicious of a new teammate because they are afraid they are going to be replaced in some way. Everyone should schedule time to introduce themself and give a high level description of what they do. Lately on LinkedIn people have been sharing pictures of fancy “swag” they are given on their first day. Although this is nice, it really is the people that make a new person feel welcomed. If you don’t have it in your budget for a team lunch or gifts, donuts and coffee is always a nice gesture.

3. Do not overwhelm them

If your project or work has been having issues or pain points, the first day is not the time to discuss them. Also, avoid going into too much technical detail of the work or processes. It really should be all about meeting teammates, getting aquainted with the work facility, and becoming familiar with basics such as recording time, core values and equipment use.

4. Ask for their input 

Having a new teammate is always a good time to evaluate your onboarding processes. Asking them for their input shows that you value their expertise and opinions.


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