How to help a new employee feel welcome on the first day

canstockphoto13633577Your lunch is packed and your outfit is picked out. You tossed and turned all night worrying about sleeping through your alarm. You’re excited and anxious.You want to do well and hope you will fit in.

Much like the first day of school, your first day at a new job brings both excitement and anxiety.

Employers spend a lot of time and resources hiring the right person for a job, but some fall short when it comes to making that person feel welcome on their first day. Other employers do it really well.

Here are ways you can ensure your new employee has a great first day:

Be there

Imagine if you sent your child off to school on their first day and their teacher didn’t show up. That’s how a new employee feels when their boss or the person who hired them doesn’t show on their first day. If you hired them, you should be there to welcome them.

Show them around

Give them the tour of the office starting with basic needs, including where the bathrooms are located and where to eat.

Meet and greet

Introduce them to their new co-workers, especially those they will be working with most closely. Go beyond talking about what they “do” and talk about who they “are.” Learning something personal about their new co-workers will help your new employee get to know them better and feel like they are part of the team faster.

Give them a clean workspace

I once was given a desk on my first day that still had all the stuff from my predecessor on top of it and inside the drawers. That was awkward and uncomfortable. Your new employee deserves a workspace that they can make their own and motivate them to get to work. Make sure they have a good chair and that all accessibility issues are addressed.

Set them up to get to work

Make sure their computer, email accounts, parking passes and payroll information are taken care of. Discuss related rules, work hours, how to use the conference room, and procedure for taking days off. Invite them to participate in your company’s social media activities.

Take them to lunch

Don’t let your new employee eat alone. Make sure you or someone in your office invites them to lunch – even if you eat in the employee lunch room. I can tell you from my own experience that it’s incredibly awkward for a new employee to sit alone in the lunch room when other employees are coming and going and he or she doesn’t know any of them.

Help them get help

New employees will have a lot of questions. Make yourself available to them as much as possible, especially in the first few days.

Give them an assignment

New employees want to feel that they are part of the team as soon as possible. Give them something to a work on. As soon as possible, invite them to a team meeting and involve them in a group project.

Check in with them at the end of the day

Before they head home, check in with your new employee to find out how their first day went.  Ask them what questions or concerns they have and tell them you are looking forward to seeing them on Day Two!

You can alleviate your new hire’s stress and anxiety by taking the time to make them feel welcome on their first day. That extra effort will help ensure that your new hire returns for Day Two and for many days to come. An employee who is made to feel welcome and taken care of is a happy one. Happy employees result in a productive and successful workplace.



Deb Neuman

About Deb Neuman

Deb thinks Maine is a great place to do business and loves telling the stories of Mainers proving that it can be done! An entrepreneur at heart, she enjoys helping others with the same drive to create and innovate!