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First Days,.....Onboarding & Orientation. Creating a First Day Experience

Many organisations now acknowledge the significance of nurturing the well-being and experiences of their employees or service recipients. This recognition extends beyond physical health, encompassing psychological well-being. However, even organisations with robust wellness programs often fall short when it comes to the crucial aspect of onboarding for new hires. They sometimes overlook the vital role that onboarding plays in fostering staff well-being from day one. It's not just a matter of handing someone a stack of policies and procedures and saying, 'Read this,' to be checked off later as part of the onboarding checklist.

Creating a First Day Experience

Consider sending a welcome email from the CEO, welcoming them to the company and sharing a short video about the company culture and values, shortly after a new employee accepts their role,

Consider sending the new employee an email from a named colleague, with a photo, introducing themselves and sharing some basic information, such as where to park, what the dress code is, and what to expect on their first day. The colleague may also mention that they will be waiting to greet the new employee in reception.

On their first day, the new employee could be greeted by their named colleague and taken to their desk. Other staff members to be encouraged to introduce themselves to the new employee at their desk, rather than walking the new employee all around the site, which can be disorienting and overwhelming.

Some additional ideas for creating a good first day experience for new employees may include:

  • Make sure their desk is ready for them. This includes having their computer, phone, and other necessary supplies set up. It's also a nice touch to leave a welcome gift, such as a company-branded mug or water bottle.

  • Give them a tour of the office and maybe a map of the building layout. Be sure to introduce them to key staff members and show them important areas, such as the break room, bathrooms, and conference rooms.

  • Set clear expectations for the day. Let them know what they will be working on and who they will be meeting with.

  • Check in with them throughout the day. Make sure they have everything they need and that they are not feeling overwhelmed.

  • Introduce them to the company culture. This can be done through team lunches, social events, or by simply talking to them about the company's values and how people interact with each other.

By taking the time to create a positive first day experience, new employees will be more likely to feel welcome and engaged in their new role.


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