There’s no better opportunity to kick off onboarding than an employee’s first day on the job. The first day sets the new hire up with essential information they’ll need to be productive, and introduces them to the company culture and their team.
There are a few things that every first day agenda should have. The new employee should absolutely get a tour of the office if the job requires them to be at work in person. In-person first day agendas should also include introductions to key stakeholders, if they’re there.
These aren’t the same as the 1-on-1 meetings your new hire might have later on, but a quick introduction will teach the new hire who their stakeholders are and where to find them.
Whether or not they’re running the first day agenda, the new hire’s manager should make an appearance at some point through the day.
A great time for the manager to check in with the new hire is at lunchtime; setting up a team lunch that includes the manager can help a new hire get integrated into the team faster and feel more comfortable around their manager.
Lunch should be on the agenda, of course. It’s important to make sure that the new hire knows the plan for lunch ahead of time.
Will the company provide lunch or should the new hire bring their own? Will the team go out to lunch?
Giving the new employee this information beforehand will only add to their experience and make them feel more at ease in their new workplace.
They’ll also need to meet with their HR representative to review the details on how they’ll get paid and how to sign up for benefits. This is the time to share information about ancillary benefits like a gym membership, life insurance, 401k, or any other benefits the company might offer.
Now, that’s enough to cover the basics of the employee’s first day. But there’s so much more a company can do to set up a new hire for success even on Day 1.
Teams and managers can take the time to give the new hire an education on the product. What does the company make? How do they do it? Why do they do it?
Context can help an employee understand their role in the organization, and how it fits into the main goals of the company.
Educating the new hire about the customers is also a helpful step. If the company has any famous customers, this can be a great time to brag. The new hire could spend some time on their own looking up those customers and start learning more about the product and what it’s doing out in the real world.
Don’t forget to give the new hire more information about the organization’s department structure, or at minimum share resources about how they can contact other members of the organizations. If they have questions or want to get a head start on meeting with team members and stakeholders, this information will come in handy.
And finally, if there’s any department specific onboarding that can be done with the remaining time you have try to squeeze it into the first day. At this point the new hire has started to get a clearer understanding of the big picture of the company, but it’s important to also demonstrate what the goals and processes are for the department they’re working in, too.