Do you remember what it’s like the first day on a new job? I don’t care how confident anyone is, the first day is in the least uncomfortable, and at times even for the fearless among us, and it can be downright scary. The newbie doesn’t know who is who, where they’re supposed to go, or even where the restrooms are. Wouldn’t it be best to give them a welcoming sign?

Studies show that the majority of new hires make a decision to stay or leave in the first six months of employment. That journey begins on the first day an employee walks through the door. Shouldn’t their journey down the path to tenure begin on their very first day?

Give Them a Welcoming Sign

You can hire a pro for this job, but you don’t have to. Head over to the dollar store, buy some poster board and a marker, write “Welcome John Doe”, decorate it with some ribbon and glitter, and then tape or tack it near the entrance to your office.

Program your Digital Signage

You know that TV in the lobby that’s always playing the same two-minute tour of your operation, or worse yet it hasn’t been turned on in three months? Yea, that one. That’s digital signage. Have your programmer post a welcome on the screen for the new person. Wouldn’t it be great if the first thing any new employee saw was their name on a screen in your lobby? First impressions count.

Don’t Stop at Signs

Giving your new employee a sign is more than signage. Take the time to make them feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Here are a few suggestions to achieve this:

Take Them on a Tour

It doesn’t have to be a two-hour tour. I conduct a 15-minute tour of the Plainfield, IN facilities for  TKO Graphix. In that time I introduce them to teammates in 10 departments and explain how they complement each other. I also show them where the break rooms and bathrooms are.

Give Them Something to Remember You by

An inexpensive branded promotional product might mean more than you think to a first-day employee. Once again, it shows that your organization cares. Giving a new person branded company apparel, desk items, computer accessories, writing instruments, or drinkware says welcome, we’re glad you’ve joined our team!

Which Way Will the First Day Go?

Have you ever had a first day on a job that was less than welcoming? Did you feel lost, ignored, and overwhelmed? Were you thrown into the deep end and left to sink or swim? I’ve had that experience, and I didn’t stay with the company long. Did you? Are you throwing new employees into the deep end?

Have you had a happy first day on the job? Was it welcoming? If so, what made it an agreeable experience? Was it a particular co-worker who took you under his or her wing? Was it onboarding information shared by the Human Resources team? Could it have been as simple as a hand-written sign at the door welcoming you to the team? Whatever it was, repeat it. Give your new team members the same warm welcome you received, and more.

If you enjoyed this post you may like, Why You Should Set Expectations from Day One

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash