It is crucial to set new hires up for success from day one. If done right, the new hire will quickly become more comfortable, knowledgeable, and most importantly a productive member of the team.

But how can a small business do that?

The answer is by creating a personalized, positive, and informative first day for new hires. Your business can achieve this by following the 10 easy steps below.

  1. Block off the Manager’s Schedule

The manager must dedicate a large portion of the day to the new employee. It will show that the manager cares and is committed to their success. A great way to begin is to have the manager greet the new employee at the start of their day.

In absence of an HR department, the manager will also be completing the remaining tasks on this list.

  1. Communicate new hire paperwork requirements BEFORE the first day

You must ensure all required paperwork is completed on the first day. In order for the new employee to be prepared, it is important to communicate all requirements before that first day. This includes any documents that they must bring such as a valid ID, social security card, passport, etc.

  1. Verify the workstation is ready and all needed access is granted BEFORE the first day

New employees can get easily discouraged if they feel the company was not prepared for their arrival. Don’t allow your new employee to come into an empty space! Be sure the workstation is set up and all needed systems can be accessed.

  1. Add a welcome surprise to the workstation

Let your imagination, culture, and budget be your guide here. Just a welcome sign will do, but anything that is unique to your company can make it extra special.

  1. Provide a brief “orientation” and review job details

Small businesses generally do not have a large amount of employees starting on the same day. Therefore, sitting in a formal 1-2 day orientation is not practical. If your company is like many other small businesses, a less formal orientation works best.

The orientation can be as informal as the manager discussing the company background, its clients, and the employee’s role. If you want to be a bit more formal, you can use a video or PowerPoint presentation to also discuss key policies, rules, and regulations. The format and detail of the orientation is up to you. The point here is to provide some company and job information to the new employee.

  1. Conduct a tour and meet and greet

It is so important for a new employee to be acquainted with his/her surroundings and coworkers. A tour around the office and a meet and greet with other employees is a great way to build the employee’s comfort level. You can start by just meeting key team members, but it is important to introduce the new hire to as many people as possible.

  1. Buy them lunch

Whether you go out, or bring in does not matter. The goal here is to celebrate the new employee’s arrival.

  1. Don’t leave them hanging, start training on job duties

There is no argument that training is important. However, training is not asking a new employee to sit at their desk and read a manual. Although the company does not have to give a formal training session, it is important to provide some sort of guidance. A walk through of systems or important processes is a good start.

  1. Encourage questions and expressed concerns

Some employees may have tons of questions or concerns while others may have none. It is important to recognize that an employee may not be comfortable asking questions or expressing concerns out of fear. To help, you can encourage questions or expressed concerns by being upfront. Tell them, “I want you to ask questions or let me know if you have any concerns throughout the day”.

  1. Give a plan for day 2

A lot of information was thrown at the new employee on the first day. Ending the day with a plan for tomorrow can put the employee at ease.

To sum it up

If these 10 steps are completed with sincerity and personal attention, the newest employee will have a personalized, positive, and informative first day. This will make a tremendous difference to a new hire and place them on a quick path to becoming a successful team member.

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