Chapter
2

What you need to do before an employee's first day

8
min read

Start before the beginning

One of the most important things you can do is establish a connection with your new employee before their first day. By creating this connection, your new employee will feel supported, excited and prepared for their new role. Your onboarding process shouldn’t start on their first day but at the moment your offer has been accepted.

How do you get your new employee excited and prepared for their first day? Use our helpful onboarding checklist them get up and running for a successful first day!

1. Send an employee welcome package!

Now send your new employee a welcome package! Design a package that’s branded to your organization but will only require a few minor changes for tailoring it to each new employee. Information like their account profile or an overview of their first day should be interchangeable.

A great example of this is when a new employee at MasterCard accepts their offer, they receive a welcome email immediately with videos and access to their company’s resources.

Make your new employee welcome package just as exciting with these suggestions!

A personalized message

For example:

--

Welcome [insert name] to [insert organization’s name]!

We’re so excited for you to join our organization and meet everyone on the team. Your first day will be [insert start date]. Please arrive at [insert time] so we can help get you acquainted.

You’ve got mail! We’ve sent over your account information for our online human resources software. With this, you can begin creating your employee profile and fill out any required documents before your first day. If you have any questions or concerns, we’d be more than happy to answer them.

Again, congratulations! We’re thrilled to have you join our team and look forward to working with you soon.

[insert organization’s name]

--

Onboarding plan overview

Don’t let there be any surprises. Send a quick outline of what’s in store for them on their first day.

Your organization’s vision & mission

Be proud. Let them know what your organization stands for and values.

Cultures and values

Share with them what makes your culture and employee experience so great! Do you have photos, videos, or stories that showcase your unique and fun organization culture?

Information unique to your location

Inform them on parking availability, lunch spots, daycare centres, gym facilities and more.

2. Onboard your new employee onto your Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

An employee's first day can be an overwhelming process for both the new employee and for you. Make it simple! With a Human Resource Information System (HRIS), onboarding your employee can be a breeze. Upload any documents, employee information, performance goals, and more in one place.

Try encouraging your new employee to explore your system before their first day. This way, they can become more acquainted with your organization and the system. An employee can learn the names of their coworkers, fill out any required documents, review their employee profile and more.

TIP: Demonstrate the importance of your organization’s culture with new employee questionnaires! Have them filled out questions that will guarantee a laugh or help to establish some common ground.

Here’s a list of some of our favourite questions:

  • What has been your favourite concert you’ve been to?
  • What’s the last book you read?
  • What’s your secret talent that no one knows about?
  • What are you currently watching on Netflix?
  • What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
  • If you could visit one place in the world, where would you go?
  • Have you ever met anyone famous? If so, who?
  • What would you sing at karaoke night?
  • Who would you want to be stranded on a deserted island?
  • If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
  • What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
  • Aside from necessities, what’s one thing you could not go a day without?
  • If you were a superhero, what powers would you choose to have?
  • What’s your most used app on your phone?
  • Do you have any secret talents?
  • What was your favourite subject in school?
  • How many languages do you speak?
  • Are you a cat or dog person?
  • What’s your favourite documentary?
  • What characteristics do you most admire in others?
  • What would a “perfect” day look like to you?
  • What movie can you watch over and over again?
  • If you could instantly pick up a new skill, what would it be?
  • How do you like your eggs?

3. Encourage your new employee's team to reach out

This process shouldn’t stop at software! This is a perfect opportunity for other team members to begin reaching out by with a welcome, questions, or offering any general support.

TIP: Set reminders for each team member to reach out before the new employee’s first day.

Stuck for ideas? Here are some examples of what types of emails your organization can send:

  • A welcome email from a CEO/Exec
  • A welcome email from a department head
  • A welcome email from their hiring manager
  • A “Do you have any questions?” email from their hiring manager
  • A “Welcome to the culture” email
  • A welcome email signed off from all their team members
  • A buddy program intro email
  • A buddy program “Welcome to the party!” email
  • A buddy program, “Do you have any questions?” email
  • A welcome email from the human resources department

The key to any good welcome email is to embody a tone that supports them in feeling welcomed, supported, and excited about their upcoming first day.

Think about it this way. How great would it feel if your colleagues sent you the following email a week or so before your start date:

--

“Hi [Insert new employee’s name],

So glad to hear you’re joining the team! Looking forward to working with and meeting you next week.

Cheers,

Mike”

--

“Hey [insert new employee’s name],

Excited for you to join our team next week! I'll be your teammate alongside Mike.

Hope you enjoy your last week of work wherever you are. Exciting stuff starts next week! See ya then.

Anna”

--

It’d feel pretty nice, right? Sending a quick email before your new employee’s first day can make them excited and prepared for their first day.

4. Prepare the workspace

Before your new employee’s first day, start organizing their workspace. You want their transition to a new office space on their first day to be a smooth as possible. This includes preparing:

  • Their workstation (if provided)
  • Computer or other required equipment
  • Office supplies
  • Locker (if provided)
  • Keycard (if provided)
  • Additional access to any resources necessary for the job
  • Usernames and passwords

Nothing says organization like a clean desk, tidy equipment, and immediate access to all your software. Continue creating this positive outlook on your organization by also physically how organized you are.

5. Introduce your new employee to a buddy or mentor

Don’t let your new employee feel lost! Steer them in the right direction by introducing them to a buddy.

A buddy system is way more than a stranger who escorts someone around, introduces them to coworkers, and treats them for lunch. More importantly, a buddy helps them uncover “hard-to-know” specifics in an informal and friendly manner.

Try pairing your new employee with a buddy or mentor in their department to help support and guide them throughout their first couple of months.