Does Your New Hire Feel at Home? Get Employee Onboarding Right With This Simple Checklist

KHarris screenshotThe lunch meeting between Jordan Belfort and his new boss, the coked-out stockbroker Mark Hanna in “The Wolf of Wall Street” may go down in history as the most ridiculous first day on the job.

Hanna’s character, played by Matthew McConaughey, starts the scene by ordering a series of martinis before giving Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) some advice on the crooked appeal of striking it rich as a broker.

Chest drumming and illicit drugs aside, we’ve all had at least one uncomfortable first day on the job. The average worker will change careers several times over the course of their life, meaning employers have a very real opportunity to make their employee onboarding experience remarkable.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that our youngest baby boomers — that is, individuals born between 1957 and 1964 — held an average of 11.7 jobs by age 48. And when you take a look at the employees who entered the workforce during and after the financial crisis of the late 2000s, you’ll find even more job hopping.

A study published by Linkedin reports that recent college grads are likely to change jobs four times in the first 10 years after graduation.

That adds up to a lot of first days.

We all know the first day at a new job is stressful. With the pressure of learning their position and their co-workers’ names, getting accustomed to the culture, and adhering to proper etiquette, most warm-blooded employees need a little extra attention to feel welcome.

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Do Unto Newbies

Employers, it helps follow the golden rule. How would you have liked to be treated on your first day? What would have made you feel welcomed, informed, and thrilled to begin work? You may find that the everyday tasks you take for granted feel much more complex for a brand-new employee. Give your new employee a few extra hours to absorb the information they receive in training. Or offer an opportunity to feel more connected to their team right off the bat. In any case, turnover is expensive, and getting off on the right foot with your new hires can only increase employment longevity.

So where do you start? We’ve provided a simple checklist for you to go through with each new hire. Follow it to the T, to guarantee your employee has the best first-day experience possible.

The New-Hire Checklist

Docs in a row

Send new employees their contract and HR paperwork before their first day. Send them an invitation to activate their email and other online accounts prior to their scheduled start date. This way, they can focus on getting settled in and meeting people when they arrive. Send these out in your welcome email after the official offer has been accepted, and be available to answer questions before their start date.

Home base built

Everyone needs a place to hang their hat. Make sure your new employee has a workstation to call home base and that they receive a tour of the facility if they haven’t already. Ensure everyone on your team is prepared to answer questions.

At TSheets, every new-hire workstation comes with a welcome bag and a can of PBR tagged with their company’s core values. The little things matter, so a nicely prepared and clean workstation are what impress new hires. A small gift can go a long way, too. Newbies really appreciate the effort!

Check out this post from TSheets Product Owner Jennifer Benz, showing off her beautiful new workstation. Not only did TSheets gain major traction on Linkedin with her post, she also caught the attention of new talent presumably looking for a similar onboarding setup.

Go-to ain’t gone

Be sure to give each new employee a go-to person for their first day on the job. Whether that person is a manager or a peer doing the same job, that person should be available throughout the day to answer questions and show the new hire how things are done.

A sticky schedule

Give your new employees their first-week schedule, and make sure it’s easy to follow. This way, everyone knows what to expect, and they can more easily adapt to the new routine.

The formal welcome

Get past the “who’s the new guy” chatter by formally introducing your new hires from the get-go.  You can do this with an email bio, an in-person meet-and-greet at the first department or company meeting, or by gathering everyone together to introduce themselves.

Slack (and other company-wide messaging applications) is a great application to notify the company of new hires. Including a photo and short bio of each new employee helps put a face to a name, especially when your company is rapidly growing.

All swagged out

Offer new hires a selection of your brand’s gear to make them feel like part of the team. Outfitting new team members with everything from pens and mugs to shirts and socks can encourage participation and a sense of belonging.

Say it in a survey

Learn from your efforts! At the end of the first week, after the dust has settled a bit and your new employee is ramping up, send them a survey to figure out how they felt about the onboarding experience. Ask specific questions about how they spent their time, if they found the training and onboarding process welcoming, and what they’d change to make the process better for future new hires. Use this information to continually improve your onboarding process and ensure all new employees have an excellent experience from day one.

Is There Such a Thing as a PERFECT First Day?

It’s a tall order (and we’re not just talking martinis), but when you give a team member a warm welcome, you set them up for success, longevity, and loyalty to your company. Businesses today have a unique opportunity to stand out among the competition in an environment where employees are switching careers more often than ever.

MORE: Retain Your Staff By Using Quality of Onboarding

Kim Harris
Kim Harris is a copy writer at TSheets.

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