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First impressions

Many people say that first impressions count. How do you make a good first impressions on your new employees’ first day? What you do to start the employment relationship on the first day can leave a lasting impression and prevent problems and difficulties in the future.

Make someone feel at home

Preparation is the key. Have you thought through the simplest things – phone, chair and desk etc? It’s obviously important that on the first day the new employee finds their space in the office or workshop.  This gives them a place to return to and to make their own, especially as on the first day as it will be a whirl of faces, meetings, paper and instructions.

Show you care

Plan the day for the new employee, providing time to meet less formally you if you own the business or their manager. The manager should take care of

  • introducing the new employee to the rest of the team.
  • explaining how the team works and flows through your organisation or part thereof.

Tell the company story

The manager should also conduct an Induction session that explains the background of the Company so that the employee knows how the company was established and can begin to understand how the business has evolved.

The manager should explain the business model and how their new role fits in. Include details of the business objectives and the business plans for the next year as well as facts and figures on customers and business performance.  At the end of the session the new employee should have a good understanding of the Companies goals and performance and where they fit in in the overall Company.

Answer questions

The next stage will be to begin the detailed introduction of the new job and training in the duties of the role. The Job description for the role is the key source document to guide this process. Ideally this will be delivered by the new employee’s manager who would normally be around should the need arise to answer a question.

Be supportive

It’s worthwhile starting the “one to one “ process (regular face to face meetings) in the first week so that the employee quickly understands that there will be regular meetings with the supervisor or manager and that these meetings will focus on work and performance. The performance appraisal process should be explained and, if in use, the new employee should be set immediate objectives and advised of the review process.

As they are on “probation” remind them of the probation period and the required standards of work to be met in order for successful completion of the probation period.

Following these actions should create an impression of a professional organisation that seeks to quickly integrate a new employee in to its team.

Good buddies

One last thought, if you have a number of employees it may be worth identifying a fellow employee who can be a “buddy” to the new starter. The buddy can be a friendly face for the employee to talk to. On the first day the buddy can take the employee to lunch showing them where the canteen is, so that the new starter doesn’t have sit on their own.

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