Bringing people into an organization is a crucial time to make a great impression. There is a bit of a “honeymoon” period that is important to build on. Make the experience reinforce the feelings they had to come to work at your business.
A friend of mine started a new job that he thought was a good move and he was surprised. On the first day he showed up they didn’t have his computer and he ended up reading documentation and manuals for a few days. Things started rocky for him and they never recovered.
Prep for the first day
It almost goes without saying that you would have their equipment all ready. Of course, my earlier story shows we have to state the obvious. People want to see you know they are coming and you are prepared for them. Have their desk, computer, and any additional devices ready.
How can you make them feel even better? Can you give them some company swag? With remote employees, you can send them a welcome package along with their standard equipment. This helps bring them into the company with a warm feeling.
Meeting the new team members is so important on the first day. Schedule time for everyone to call or have a meeting with the new team member. Keep in real informal and help the team welcome them in.
Perhaps you can find a way to make this a fun and exciting game. Have each teammate share a little-known fact about themselves or their favorite movie character. Find ways to initiate a connection with the new team.
Each company uses their own tools and you can just send someone a document. That is very impersonal and cumbersome to create and keep updated. Remote teams need more conversations and this is a great place to start.
Take some time to help the person get setup with the tools of the team and how they use them. If your team uses Asana to track tasks have someone walk them through the flow. Even if they have used it before my guess is your company is different.
There is always the normal paper work that comes with starting a new employee. Mix this in with some fun activities you can have the new person complete.
Responsive companies have feedback built into all levels. Make sure the new teammate knows who they can share things with. People who feel they can affect change in a company are more engaged and happier with their work. Be clear with your team that “I am not responsible for that” is not an acceptable answer.