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Managing an Employee's First Day

By Dave McGuire, CU


(CU) - When onboarding a new employee, it is critical to remember expectations are being set from the initial discussion. We teach people how we as individuals, and in this instance, our business, is to be treated. Hiring the right person is an opportunity to advance your skills in several ways including delegation, supervision, forecasting future procurement strategies and overall develop. The value in retention may be the best asset in your portfolio. In other words, it's important not to overlook the ever important first day.


Listed below are suggestions to help ensure new employees are welcomed appropriately:

  • Send an e-mail to everyone at your location and include all offsite personnel. Attention to detail is key when planning the proper online introductions. Accenting the accomplishments, common industries and any ties to the local community are best avenues towards opening potential conversations with coworkers.

  • Have the new employee's security badge, ID, parking pass, keys, and any other access tools available before their first day begins. Take the extra step of confirming that all access badges are working properly.

  • Provide personalized business cards and place them on the new employee's desk as an office welcoming gift. This step emphasizes professionalism while communicating your interest in developing an immediate relationship.

  • Confirm all systems network sites and related computer accesses are functioning properly before the employee arrives. - Configure the new employee's e-mail accounts while also adding essential distribution lists. - Provide learning guides for any software being used in the office.

  • Confirm the office phone system is updated with instructions for using and updating voicemail.

Listed below are questions to proactively discuss prior to the new employee feeling a need to ask for assistance:

  • What will an employee need to bring on their first day?

  • In most situations new hire paperwork is necessary on day one; I would suggest two forms of ID.

  • Where is employee parking located and will garage passes be available? If parking is offered presented passes to the employee during the morning of their first day. Also take the time to introduce them to the parking team or location for questions.

New employees are filled with questions and justifiably ready to ask. The new employee's immediate supervisor should be available as a greeter on the first day to ease the stress and ensure a smooth adjustment period.


Listed below are questions to ask yourself while waiting to greet an employee on their first day:


Where is the best meeting location?

The new employee's immediate supervisor should be available as a greeter. Select the primary entrance to your facility and follow-up with explaining employee entrance and exit locations. If available, provide a floor map. If a floor map is not available, create one.


Where are the restrooms?

Refer to your "new" floor map.


Where is the copy machine? Are passwords needed?

If passwords are needed, have those prepared via email and sent to the employee as a reference point.


Where is the employee dining area and what are the hours?

Schedule a day one lunch with the employee and follow-up by individually integrating the staff with a week-long lunch shadowing program.


Who should the employee speak with regarding future questions?

A time-tested policy of assigning a co-worker as an onboarding mentor is solid. As time passes it is important to have that mentor check-in with the new hire to ensure onboarding is a positive experience. As you demonstrate the open-door policy a new hire will find communication reinforced in the workplace. It is also extremely important to remember a new employee's immediate supervisor should always be present on their first day. The worst impression is having new hires arrive when their immediate supervisor is not available for proper introductions and onboarding. Relationship building, engagement, comfort levels, etc. etc.


And finally, remember that new employee arriving may be you one day.

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