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How to Make Every New Employee's First Day Memorable

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines new employee onboarding as “the process of integrating a new employee with a new company and its culture, as well as getting a new hire the tools and information needed to become a productive member of the team." According to research, having an effective onboarding process can build trust, foster relationships among employees, and increase employee satisfaction. On the other hand, a negative onboarding experience can play a major role in a company's turnover, which can cost businesses anywhere between 16% and 20% of that employee's salary, according to CBS MoneyWatch.

Being proactive and making new talent feel welcome and set up for success from day one is crucial. Here are some ways you can create a memorable first day on the job for your new staff member:

Assign an Ambassador

Designate someone on your team to be your new recruit's ambassador. As an ambassador, he or she would serve as a support system and the person responsible for team introductions, giving a tour of the facility, and answering questions, among other things. Having a go-to person can alleviate anxiety and first-day jitters for someone new to the team.

Give a Gift

If you physically work at an office, leave a welcome bag on your new employee's workspace filled with useful items like office supplies, a water bottle, snacks, and company-branded swag like a coffee mug. If your team works remotely, mail the gift ahead of time so that your employee receives it on his or her first day. In either scenario, be sure to include a welcome card signed by you, your staff, and if possible, your company's leadership team. This will help your new staff member feel like they are part of the family.

Take Them Out to Lunch

Get your team better acquainted with your new hire by organizing a welcome lunch. If going to lunch in person is not an option, send them a gift card to a restaurant and have a virtual lunch. This time can also be a great opportunity to check in with your employee to make sure their day is going well, and it shows you care.

Prepare an Itinerary

Intentionally plan and outline your new hire's first day with a detailed itinerary that your entrusted ambassador can review with him or her. In doing so, your employee has clear expectations set for their day. Be careful not to pack too much in the schedule as your employee may get overwhelmed, which can create a negative experience.

Provide Resources

Provide valuable resources like an employee handbook, training material, and other relevant documents that your new employee can refer to if needed. Equip your new and existing employees with the necessary tools to do their job to be a productive member of the team.

Experiences shape our choices and leave lasting impressions. Be proactive, intentional and thoughtful and set clear expectations to create a positive and memorable first day when onboarding members to your team.