For new hires, the first day on the job can feel like they’re at the foot of a mountain about to take the first step up a ridiculously tall peak like Kilimanjaro or Everest.
Even if they’ve prepared for years to hone the right skills and are excited about this new adventure, it is still a hard, uphill journey that requires lots of endurance.
Keeping that in mind, here are five things you cannot forget if you want to start your new hire’s first week off on the right foot:
1. Check out the surroundings
When new hires start on day one, something that will make them feel more comfortable is being shown around and introduced to other employees (especially the team who they’ll be working with the most).
Most importantly, your current employees — and management — need to care that new hires are there. After all, they will be helping with the workload, so current employees should be happy about that. New hires need to feel included, valued and celebrated from day one.
2. Basic training
Your new hires don’t know how things work around your office. They need to be trained on how you share information and standard processes.
New hires also need to be set up with all the tools needed to do their job well from day one. Make sure they have a computer, phone, access to the company’s systems and other office supplies so that they can be productive right away.
3. Buddy up
Pairing up new hires with a mentor — a seasoned employee who will make the new hire feel comfortable and can answer questions, provide support and give advice — is a great way to make sure your new hires are taken care of. The manager should not be chosen for this task.
A mentor can show the new hires the ropes and tell them the little insider things that will make adapting to their new surroundings easier. In addition, a mentor will be able to check in often with the new hires, keep up a continual communication, stay interested in their success, and be a friend. No one wants to feel forgotten or not part of the team. If new hires feel they have a friend, they will feel more committed to the company.
4. On-the-job training
This more specific hands-on training can really set your new hires up for success. They need to receive organized, relevant and well-timed content so they can begin to be productive as soon as possible.
The trainer needs to make sure new hires are not being overwhelmed with too much information, so information needs to be offered in a steady, easy-to-manage flow. Too much information can overwhelm them, while not enough information can leave them feeling out-of-place and alone.
And don’t forget the big picture. It’s important for new hires to really understand your company’s vision and how their job role fits in to the success of the company.
5. Get ready, set, go!
People want to feel they’re contributing right out of the starting block, so an early assignment or project is a great idea. Make sure it’s an assignment that really matters and will give them a feel for what they’ll be doing.
Of course, feedback at this point should be delicate, respectful, and encouraging to make sure you don’t squash a fresh perspective and excitement to start contributing. It should get them more excited to become productive and start making a difference.
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The first week sets the stage for the entire adventure. It’s a make-or-break week that new hires sometimes look at as a trial period.
After all, the employee usually isn’t as invested as the company is at that point, considering the high costs of hiring. It is important for companies to still be selling themselves to the applicant.
Of course, some of these first-week musts need to carry over into the next several months, as it can take up to six months to get new hires fully acclimated.
But it all starts with the first week – make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to put your employees on the path to succeed. Because when your new hires succeed, your business succeeds, and before you know it, you’re all at the top of Kilimanjaro.