- Stacey Baker
New Starter? We were all there once!
We’ve all had our first day at work and we know that it can be a daunting experience no matter what level you are entering the company at! However, for a young person with little or no work experience starting a new job can be nerve racking and sometimes a little bit scary. Here are fifteen top tips to help you make their first few days (and beyond) as stress-free and welcoming as possible.
Keep in touch with them prior to their start date.
To make your new employee feel in the loop with the company prior to their start date, it is a good idea to send them regular emails and updates prior to when they start work. If you have a company newsletter, send them the last couple of editions. It could even be a good idea to email them across a timetable for their first day or week so that they will have more of an idea of what to expect after they arrive at the office.
Make sure that everyone is aware of your new employee’s start date.
Prior to your apprentice starting work, try to make sure that everyone in the office is aware of the date they will be starting. This means that your employees will automatically be more welcoming to the new employee and make them feel more at ease. This is also especially useful if, for some reason, your new employee arrives at the office before you do. It means that other members of the team will be able to look after them prior to your arrival, without the young person having to ask for help.
Make sure that their desk and work area is ready for them.
To make the new employee feel like their desk and work area is really their own, it is important that it has been cleaned and tidied before their start date. It is also a good idea to ensure that their computer is working (you don’t want them standing around waiting for their computer to be fixed on their first day!) and that all of the necessary stationary has been ordered and is waiting for them. It could even be worth writing them a little welcome card or putting a welcome sign on the office door to make the whole thing a little less daunting for them.
Make sure that their company email address is up and running.
This may sound like an obvious one, but new employees can sometimes spend their entire first week without a company email address due to this not having been sorted out prior to their start date. This means that the new employee has to spend time using their personal email address (unprofessional) or have no email at all for work. The latter could leave your employee feeling out of the loop so it is important to make sure that this is done prior to their arrival.
Introduce them to the team.
After your new employee has arrived, it is important to introduce them to each member of the office individually as well as explain (or get the employee in question to explain) what job role they perform. This will have a massive positive impact on how much your new employee will feel part of the team. It could also be a good idea to have them sit with other members of the team for a couple of hours per week so that they can have a better idea of what it is that everyone does on a day to day basis.
Lay out an induction timetable.
If you cannot have their whole induction on their first day then set up a schedule with your new employee detailing when they will receive parts of their initial training. This could be talking them through social media policies, health and safety procedures and the staff room etc. This will make the new employee feel more at ease knowing that they are not just going to be thrown in at the deep end.
Try not to ‘data dump’ on the employee’s first day.
On an employee’s start date there is always going to be a lot of information for them to take in. It is a good idea to try and get the most important stuff (health and safety, employee introductions, contract etc.) done on the first day but try and spread the rest of the information out over the next couple of days (this is where an induction timetable is especially useful). This will spare your new employee from coming into a mountain of paperwork and will allow them to get stuck into their exciting new role. It is also a good idea to put together an employee manual (if you do not already have one) for them to read as and when they need to.
Brief them on the law and company policies.
If they are a young person with not a lot of previous work experience, the chances of them being as clued up about industry law as the rest of their colleagues is quite slim so it is worth sitting down with them at some point during their first couple of days to discuss this with them. It is better to be safe than sorry and this could avoid any legal mistakes in the future. Also make it a priority to discuss with your new employee any company policies.
Talk to them about office culture.
Office culture varies from workplace to workplace so it is a good idea to have a little chat with your new employee on their first day about what to expect from the office. Things like email etiquette, tea breaks and casual Fridays are all good things to mention on the employee’s first day. This means that they will be able to fit into the team easier and will avoid any confusion in the future. It is also a good idea to brief your new employee with everyone’s job descriptions so they will have a better idea of who to ask for help in certain situations if you are not there.
Give them a buddy or a mentor.
It is a good idea to buddy your new employee up with another member of their team. Obviously a lot of what they learn will be down to you, the employer. However, giving them a mentor from the team that is not you means that they will always have someone to ask for help or advice if you are not around and will make their integration into the team easier. It is also a good idea to let the mentor know their responsibility prior to the young person’s start date, this will give them time to prepare their week around being a mentor and will ease stress for everyone.
Give them a warm welcome on your social media.
Make like loads of companies and post a photo of your new team member in the office to post to your social media sites. This will make your new employee feel more welcome as well as introducing them to your customers and social media following. It will also increase your social interaction with clients and customers so it’s a win-win situation!
Provide a clear description of the tasks you want them to complete.
It is important to respect your employee as an individual and avoid micromanaging them. However, especially if your employee is a young person, it is important to clearly outline what tasks and assignments you wish for them to complete and how/when you expect them to be completed. Encourage your employee to ask questions about this and to approach you or a member of the team if they come across something that they do not understand (this is where it is especially handy to assign them to a mentor).
Schedule in regular meetings with them and encourage feedback.
In your employee’s first week of employment it is important to schedule in a few meetings with them either on a one-to-one basis or as part of a group. This means that they will be able to check in with your with any feedback they have on their first few days and will make them feel a little less lost. Having a group meeting with the rest of the team included will give the new employee more of an opportunity to make their voice heard and will enable them to partake in group discussions.
Organise a social event.
As you probably know, organising a social event after work hours is a great way for new and old employees to get to know one another in a more relaxed environment. However, it is important to remember how old your new employee is when making the decision where to go on your employee social. If they are under 18, it might not be the best idea to organise an evening in the pub. Good ideas for more suitable events are bowling, paintballing or high rope courses.
Live your company values.
This one pretty much speaks for itself! Make sure that you welcome your new employee and live up to your core company values!