We have all heard it: the first impression is the last impression. And although I’m a big believer that you can change impressions, it is still so much better to start off on the right track.
Now, I have heard many horror stories of people’s first days at their jobs. Imagine getting your dream job at this dream company you always wanted to work at, and getting ready for the first day of work. You are all excited and can’t wait to start your new career. And then you walk into your office and are greeted with confusion. No one remembers that you are supposed to join them today, and they don’t really have a place for you. So you hang out on a chair next to someone’s desk who seems to be too busy to entertain you or ask your burning questions. You feel unwelcome, out of place, and bored out of your mind. Not what you expected at all.
I’ve had this experience and I’m sure many of you may have also had this experience at some point in your life. Well, at Falak, we make sure this doesn’t happen. We always strive to be consistent with our culture, and our comfortable environment. So you wouldn’t be surprised if I told you that we have a whole process around a new Team Member’s first day, with checklists and reminders and everything.
When I was first tasked to create and document this process, I put myself in the shoes of the new Team Member. What are the things I would want to know? How would I want to be treated? What would make my first day special and memorable?
So, together with my team, we created a new Team Member Onboarding Process. I will share part of the checklist with you here, so you can also benefit from it. But let me first explain the thinking process that went behind it. So the checklist was divided into a few sections:
Before the Team Members Arrival- There are numerous things that need to be arranged at least a few weeks before the new Team Member’s arrival. For example, you need to have a work-ready space for them , a desk and a chair. The Team Member needs to have a working phone line. Even small things like pens, staplers and adequate stationary. So two weeks before a Team Members arrival, prepare for everything. Things like purchasing a laptop might require accounts approvals and time. Making sure that is connected to the printer and has all the softwares you need may require time too. Getting a new email address, the correct access to different areas, all these things take time. So start at least two weeks before. And of course, you need the add the cherry on the cake, the welcome gift. We get new Team Members a delicious box of dates and a cool branded pen.
On the Team Member’s First Day- What are the things that the new Team Member needs to know on the first day? Remember this is the most important day! You may have already prepared everything for the Team Member but a new person that arrives is not exactly comfortable with opening drawers to check what he has or go on an office tour on his own. So there are steps you must follow on the first day.
Ongoing new Team Member training- For a new Team Member to do his job properly, you need a training process for him to follow. This will acquaint him slowly and comfortably into whatever he needs to do or learn. This isn’t exactly a process for their first day, but still is important.
Important thing to remember:
Having a great process in place is not the end of it all. It is very important to have someone accountable for the process. So one of your existing Team Members needs to be responsible and accountable for this whole process. So now that we know what goes into a TM’s great first day, let’s look at the checklist.
Step 1: Prepare for new Team Member’s Arrival
Prep: This must commence at least 2 weeks in advance as some of the tasks like getting a new phone, laptop etc. may take time.