Guest Contributor

New Starter Experience

By | Matt Ellis

Consider your new starters first actual experience of your business, their 1st day on the job (these days that could be virtually or onsite!).

Well, first impressions don’t stop there, new starters have 1st week impressions, 2nd week impressions, 1st month etc, it can take a while for some to settle. We believe that the best way to ensure a smooth integration to a new business is to have an engaging onboarding strategy for your new starter.

On boarding or joining periods can say an awful lot to your new starter about your business and its culture, the image you want to present and the environment you wish to offer to people. Getting it right can really cement enthusiasm of your new starter and chanel their energy in the right direction. After all you probably spent a lot of time, effort and possibly money hiring your new employee so you want the rest of the proces to be positive.

Put something weak in place or nothing at all and the vision you painted for your new joiner during the interview process can be shattered, undoing all the hard work to bring them on board, losing the time spent and the cost incurred attracting them and quite possibly resulting in them wanting to leave sooner than you desire simply because they got off to the wrong start. No one wants to rehire someone after all the hard work of identifying and offering someone to begin with.

So lets try and avoid this by building an onboarding plan that can provide your newbie with an informative integration journey over the first few weeks. Not overloading them with death by powerpoint and forms, not sending them to see a few random managers who volunteer and are dairy reliable, let’s have a quality, engaging journey that gives them the right impression and experience.

What does that look like I hear you ask…………..well here is our suggestion for a decent new joiner experience.

First day – greet the new starter, set up a coffee session and/or lunch to meet the close team informally

First day – asign them a buddy to chaperone them

First day – site/location tour. Familiarise them with their surroundings, what’s where, give them a map. Don’t underestimate safety, show them fire exits, meet points

First day – With line manager, revisit role expectations and requirements including probationary review periods. Setting the right seen is important and helps to avoid getting off on the wrong footing. Meet key colleagues/role influencers.

First day – Collect IT kit and essentials – have this ready. Missing name tags, business cards, having no phone or laptop can look terrible and disorganised.

First day – Give some downtime back, allow them to soak up all thats been shared. If you have a digital welcome pack this can revisit some of the earlier points.

First day – Meet an exec team member or senior leader. This can be really inspiring and shows the leadership care about who is joining the company. Perhaps they can give a higher level company overview, objectives and strategies.

Set some initial weekly activities

Regular catch up, week 1 might be daily, then once a Monday their after to review whats ahead that week and then on a Friday to catch up. Via call or face to face this can addreal value and show engagement for the new starter.

Buddy catch up. Meet the new joiner on a weekly basis, ensure all is well and going to plan. Pick up anomalies and address any items slipping.

Week 1 – Meet with HR – Show them who they are, what they do, who is the face of HR. Cover off company structure, any values, support on offer, contacts and benefits.

Week 1 – Health & Safety – meet H&S or the face of the business. Run through relevant areas such as  Protective equipment, first aid points, fire procedures etc.

Week 1 – Relevant department experience – Examples might be quality control – talk to someone who can explain the company standards and expectations. Finance – where do expenses get submitted, who does credit control and invoice processing. IT – who to go to with issues and how to raise a query/ticket. Sales and Service – What is it you offer to customers and where to obtain information.

Many other departments could be added here dependent on your business, don’t under estimate any of them. Marketing, product management, project management, innovation teams, they can all quite possibly ass value to the new joiner experience and have relevant things to share. Spreading these introductions over 2 – 3 weeks is fair and manageable for the new joiner.

This may also work if you have more than 1 site, keeping travel efficient and relevant to locations and not overloading the new joiner.

Day in the life of – if you sell items or maintain them in the field, let your new joiner see this and how this joins up with their duties. A day in the field with either or both can add real value in terms of visibility of contribution and breaks down them and us barriers in terms of different departments.

At the end of your onboarding period – have a session for your new starter and line manager to review the process carried out. Take the opportunity to actively listen to any thoughts of the new joiner regarding their induction, they may suggest something very useful or highlight something to be amended. Their voice matters and this is great place to react to their early input. Their overall answers may help their line manager to better understand them, their onward needs and preferred style of working.


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