red carpet for new hires

I remember starting a new job and having the very best first day I’ve ever had. 

The welcome email I received prior told me what documents I should bring and who I should ask for once I got there.

A few minutes after arriving, my Director came out to the lobby to greet me.  She walked me back to my new office and I quickly took notice of how clean it was as if no one had ever used it.

There were colorful balloons attached to my chair. On my desk was a copy of the employee handbook, a notebook and some company logoed ink pens. My laptop was there and also an envelope containing my logins, passwords and keys. 

Then the Director took me on a tour around the building and introduced me to everybody that we passed.

For lunch, a catered meal was brought in so I could eat with the team and get to know the people I’d be working closely with. 

Later on, I had an informal chat with my Director where she gave me the inside scoop on the comings and goings of the office. She also gave me an onboarding schedule for the week outlining who I’d be meeting with each day and what topics we would go over.

It was a really nice first day.

It happened about 5 years ago, but I remember the day vividly because it was the only time in my 20 years of working where I felt such a warm reception.

There was a lot of thought put into welcoming me to the company and I appreciated the effort. 

Now that’s not to say that every other company I worked for did a terrible job. But I did have some confusing first days that made me wonder if I made the right decision in accepting the positions.

Like the time my manager left me sitting in the lobby for 45 minutes. Or the time I didn’t have email/computer access for a week and had to find things to keep myself occupied.

Oh, and I certainly will never forget the company where I didn’t even hear from my manager until 3 weeks after I started. No call, no email, no nothin’!

Sadly, there are many managers out there who are dropping the ball like this on the regular. And they are really doing themselves a disservice.

As a manager, you spend a lot of time and money posting open positions, reviewing applications and interviewing candidates. When you finally find the right person and they accept your offer, you breathe a sigh of relief.

But your work doesn’t end there.

You still need to impress your new employee and show them that they’ve made the right choice. 

Chances are, they’re still receiving interview requests from company’s which they’ve previously submitted applications. So the last thing you want to do is give the candidate the impression that your business is terribly managed or that you don’t care that they exist.

Because that can lead to your new hire suddenly rolling out.

So how can you roll out the red carpet and make a good impression?

🔷 Prepare in advance.
New employees are typically anxious about their first day. Be sure to send them an email in advance with all the necessary information. For example, directions to the building, the dress code policy, a list of documents they should bring and the name of the person they should ask for when they arrive.

Notify your Security and/or IT department about your new hire so that their access to the building and email is set up on time. This will help your new employee feel a part of the team from day one.

Tidy up the working space. No one should have to clean up the mess the previous person left behind on their first day.

Put together an onboarding and training plan to set your new team member up for success.

🔷 Welcome your new hire. 
As the new employee’s direct manager, you should be the one to greet them. But if you become unavailable, assign the next best person to do it.

Show them around the building. Introduce them to the team. Spend time going over the job responsibilities. Make sure they are aware of the work schedule and that they have all the tools needed to do the job.

🔷 Show the company’s fun side.
Orientation doesn’t have to be all policies and procedures. Break up some of the boring information by playing a game or two.  Try an icebreaker to get to know each other or a scavenger hunt to familiarize them with the building.

Cater in lunch if the budget allows. Or at the very least provide some snacks. I’ve yet to meet anyone who didn’t appreciate free food.

Brag about all of the fun things your company does like the family picnics, softball tournaments, happy hours or movie nights. Let your employee know it’s not all work, there is some time for play.

These are just a few ideas to impress your new hire. Get creative and come up with other ways to let them know that you are glad to have them join the team.  

Welcome your new employee like the superstar you hired them to be.


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