That Not-So-Awkward First Day

Your awesome new employee shows up bright and early for her first day at your company.  She’s excited and maybe a little nervous. After all, that first week can be like the first day of high school. Where does she go? Where does she sit? How will she make friends? What if she tries to have lunch at the wrong table and she ends up sitting with the Plastics?

There are a couple of easy, inclusive ways you can help ease those awkward first week jitters:

Buddy up: Here, new employees are asked about their favorite things before they start. Then, they’re paired up with a sidekick-someone with similar interests who can show them the ropes their first few weeks. This includes everything from showing them around the office and introducing them to teams they might not work with, to how to work the coffee machines and printers, to bringing them into a Nerf gun war.

Get personal: Within the first week of being here, new employees answer some questions about themselves, and their responses go out by email blast to the entire company. These “Confessions”, as we call them, include questions like “Do you have any special talents?” and “Do you participate in any volunteer activities?” By going beyond the basic “What’s your name and what do you do?”, coworkers get an instant glimpse into whether Donna might be the next recruit for their cornhole team.

Be seen: During their first company meeting, new employees are brought in front of the company so everyone has a chance to get introduced to them. They also get to read a fact from someone else’s Confession and the company has to guess who the fact is about- whomever guesses it right gets a prize and everyone learns the names of the new faces (and as we’ve seen through impromptu Dougie lessons and beatbox demonstrations, it can also be a chance to show off those aforementioned talents)

By just taking the time to find out a little about your new hire, you can help make her first few weeks totally fetch. How does your company go beyond the norm to welcome new employees?

Editors Note: Candace Nicolls is the Principal Recruiter for Product, Engineering, and Marketing at Snagajob. When she’s not sourcing and interviewing, she’s baking for her coworkers or spreading the word about Snag through networking and community partnerships. Snagajob was awarded Entrepreneur Magazine’s Best Small Company to Work for in America in 2011.


About Marisa

Marisa Keegan is a leadership coach, trainer, and HR consultant for quickly growing organizations who are passionate about strengthening their employees, their brand, and their culture. She has helped lead the HR, culture, and engagement initiatives at two nationally recognized great places to work; Rackspace as Culture Maven and Modea as Talent Manger. She is an author at Fistful of Talent and Culture Fanatics. Marisa has her Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and currently lives with her husband and twin boys in Richmond, Virginia.
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