Employee Onboarding 101

Starting a new job can feel almost scary. You’re a little unsure about what your exact job duties will be and you might even question how well you’ll like your co-workers (as well as how well they’ll like you). Everything is new and different when first getting to know the business that is now responsible for helping you earn a living, which can be slightly overwhelming to say the least.


Though some level of nervousness and anxiety is normal, there are several things employers can do to help their new staff’s first day feel more welcoming, helping to ease their nerves and relax their concerns. This shows them that you’re a company worth sticking with, reducing your turnover rate and increasing the number of loyal, experienced staff on your payroll. So, how do you make this happen?

Personalize the Experience

The primary reason people like flowers is because receiving them makes them feel special. Create that same type of response in your new employee and they will feel more like a wanted, valued member of the team rather than just another person you’ve hired to do just another job.

Though flowers aren’t really appropriate for a work setting, other items are. Maybe you could give them one of your logo’d coffee mug with their first or last name on it or provide a little welcome bag with some snacks and a bottle of water. Other top personalized gifts for employees include gift pens, a clock, or a paperweight for their desk (if they have one, of course).

Go Paperless

Typically, when a company brings a new employee on board, that employee can expect to spend the entire first day wrapped up in paperwork. Not only can this be cumbersome, but how are they supposed to know if they’ll like what they’re now expected to do if they’re not even doing it?

One way to change this is to go paperless. You can do this by using workforce management software that allows your new staff to fill out their information before their first shift, making their first day at work their actual first day at work.

Give Them Some Downtime

Another way to make your new employee’s new day the best it can be is to give him or her some downtime so they can take it all in. This can help reduce their feelings of overwhelm when they’re trying to process all of the new information that’s being thrown at them.

Maybe you could set up a small luncheon in their honor? This gives them the opportunity to sit and chat with the people they’ll be working closely with. You could also schedule a couple of mini-breaks throughout their first day so they can step away for a minute and just catch their breath.

Ask What They Think

Sometimes all it takes to help ease first day jitters is for them to be able to share if they feel anxious, nervous, or otherwise not at ease. However, because they want to make a good first impression, they’re not likely to bring these emotions up on their own. You’ll have to ask.

Not only does giving the time to vent offer your new employee the benefit of releasing these negative emotions, but it also gives you the opportunity to address their concerns. They may be worried about something that really isn’t a worry at your particular business, so if you can squelch that immediately, you’re both better off.

Making an employee feel valued from day one is a great way to start your working relationship. These are just a few ways to make that happen, increasing the likelihood that this is a relationship that will benefit you both for years and years to come.


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