Your eyes ping between the baggage claim signs, ordering an Uber on your phone, and the person shuffling past you on the moving walkway. There's traffic on the highway so you get to the hotel late, and as your key card finally opens the door to your room, you collapse on the bed and let out a big sigh.
You know that feeling? The feeling of finally being able to sit still and mentally catch up from the chaos around you?
That's what your new hire needs to feel when they get into your office. As soon as possible.
From the moment they open the door, you're eagerly dragging them around the place, introducing them to new colleagues, showing off your fancy coffee maker, and overloading them with information that they can't possibly retain.
So, what should your new hire's day look like? Here's what we do at Trainual to set our new team members up for success.
Make them feel welcomed.
Let me stick with the travel analogy for another minute. What if you got off the plane, and a chauffeur was holding up an iPad with your name on it, eagerly awaiting to take your bags and make the rest of your voyage easy. That's what it feels like for your new hire when you show them you were expecting them.
You don't have to go crazy here, but a little effort goes a long way. Get your team to sign a welcome card, and leave it on the new hire's desk. Print out a sign with their name on it, and clip it to the cubicle. Or, if you want to go a little above and beyond, figure out the new hire's favorite coffee, or favorite sports team, and leave a little customized gift for them to discover.
Let them settle in.
The next step is easy -- leave them alone. We like to let someone have at least the first hour of the day just to get settled. They can decorate their desk, post a pic of the office to Instagram, or maybe get adventurous and start logging into their new email account.
This unstructured free time is important. Let them putz around a little before getting sucked into your whirlwind.
Hold a welcome interview.
About an hour after the new hire arrives, we hold our first (and maybe only) scheduled meeting of the day -- the "Welcome Interview."
You've heard of an exit interview, right? Well, the welcome interview gives you a chance to get aligned from the very beginning. It's simple. Why did you pick us, and here's why we picked you. First, you get some insight into how your hiring process compared to other suitors. What drew this person to pick you as their next opportunity?
Next, it gives you a chance to re-share your expectations of the role, and share some context as to why you decided to hire them. What did you see in them that you think will be useful going forward? What are you most excited to work on together?
Train them on the basics.
The rest of the first day is dedicated primarily to self-led training. We use our own software, but of course you could hack together a number of different tools to achieve something similar.
At our company, the basic orientation training happens in about four hours. Again, it's a solid baseline of interesting content that paves the way for everything department and role specific that will come later.
Get clear on what's to come.
After basic training, there is typically a lot more free time. There's time to walk the halls with a buddy, or grab lunch with a few new faces. But, by the end of the day, we always do one thing -- we sync up to get clear on what's to come.
What do you expect the new person to complete by the end of the week, the end of the month, and the end of the quarter? What does a successful on-boarding look like? Too many companies miss out on setting this expectation early, and instead find themselves months into a new hire and generally unsatisfied, with nothing to point back on.
Don't leave success up to chance. Check in and set your expectations, then send a summary email to follow up and put it in writing.
And the good news -- your new hire wants to succeed! Follow this process and you'll go a long way toward helping them out.