Apart from some truly devastating life events, there are not that many things in a person's life that are more stressful than the first day at a new job.
The feeling of the new colleagues' eyes on you as you walk into your new workplace; a new company; new tasks; a new boss (or a few of them); new responsibilities. The list goes on. And it is a list that makes people nervous. While the intensity may diminish in the next couple of weeks, these are still early days and they can be really stressful.
In the modern world where employee retention has become more difficult than ever before, companies need to make sure they are doing everything to handle their new employees' first few weeks as well as possible. In other words, they need a structured and streamlined onboarding process which will ensure new employees have a great first memory of their new workplace.
Once your new employee has accepted your job offer, it will probably be a few weeks before their actual first day. However, this does not mean you should not already start your onboarding process.
For one, you should take advantage of the new technology and get the paperwork sorted our digitally before they even come over. Send them all the necessary forms digitally and have them sign them with an electronic signature.
If you wish, you can also send them some material on the company and a welcome package. It does not have to be anything spectacular. It is more of a gesture that tells them you cannot wait to meet them and have them as a part of your team.
This can go a long way and it will cost you nothing.
While all of this is going on, you have to set up their workstation so that they can get settled in as soon as they come over. There is really no point in having them sit around for two weeks once they start, just because someone couldn't be bothered to set up their computer.
The first day of everything tends to be stressful and when starting a new job, the first day can be a truly palm-sweating, shallow-breathing, mouth-drying experience. This is why your onboarding process should involve everything to take the stress out of the first day.
If you have security people and/or a receptionist of some kind, it is absolutely vital that they know a new employee will be coming in and that they are as warm to them as possible. The new employee should not be standing around before you (the owner, manager, executive, or team leader) meet and welcome them. In fact, they shouldn't have to wait at all.
You should then take them to their workplace and introduce them to their team, as well as their team leader, in case this is not you. It might also be a good idea to take them out to lunch, get some one-on-one time with them and try to find out more about them.
During the first week, your new employee should be eased into the everyday workings of the company and their position, but not just this.
The first week is the perfect time for the new employee to learn more about the company's history and the culture that this company nurtures and promotes. They should also learn about company's products and the big picture situation, i.e. who the main competitors are, how the company is doing in general and more.
In case you have training programs, this is probably the week when they will start getting training and learning even more about their position. They should also get acquainted with the equipment they will be using, including any software that your company uses. If you use specialized software like employee scheduler, for instance, make sure they at least give it a go during the first week.
At the end of Week 1, you should also talk to them and try to gauge how it went. Encourage them to be honest with you and tell you everything that caught their eye about your company. Sometimes, a pair of fresh eyes can be really insightful and uncover things that you hadn't thought about in years.
It is also highly likely that you will have to handle additional paperwork.
During the first few months, you should hold regular meetings with your new employee or have their immediate superior conduct them. The important thing is that you have an idea of how they are doing, where things are going and how they are finding their new job.
If there are any problems, it is important that you identify them as early as possible so as to avoid them growing into issues that might jeopardize their future with your company.
Keep in mind; it is all about having happy employees who will be glad to give their best every single day.