The Importance of Day One and Onboarding in the Employee Experience

Day One is a crucial step in the employee experience journey. The day the newly hired employee starts is an important touch-point in the their life and career. How they experience their first day will have a bearing on how they settle into the company, therefore the company needs to ensure the employee has the best possible experience.

Having their direct manager or supervisor meet the employee in person as soon as they arrive adds a human touch to the experience; introducing them to their team members and showing them where they will be working can all help in giving the new employee a sense of belonging. The work-space for the employee should be prepared with all the tools they will need for the job; computer, phone, headset, pen and notebook, etc should be ready and waiting on their desk. A tour of the offices, showing locations of canteen or eating area and bathrooms is also important for the employee on their first day.

Consider having a welcome pack and a welcome ambassador for the new hire. By providing the new employee with a welcome ambassador or a mentor as a go-to person to ease their transition into the new role, and a welcome pack containing some branded items, this demonstrates that their arrival has been thought about and makes them feel welcome. By having the resources listed, the employee saves time, and cuts down on frustration.

Benjamin Franklin’s quote “Time is money” (Brainyquote, 2017) is very relevant as time lost looking for information means a reduction in productivity and therefore profits. Consider also how long an employee takes to find information? Where can they get the most up-to-date company news? How do they know if they are using the correct branding? What are the latest PowerPoint templates? The time it can take for an employee to find information can leave them feeling frustrated. Research of literature on the topic of employee engagement has shown that emotions, and how the employee feels, play a big part in employee engagement, and therefore in the whole employee experience.

On top of that on Day One the employee needs to know basic information that will make their on-boarding experience a smooth experience. For instance, where is the closest printer, who do they contact in Payroll, who do they talk to if they have questions. Providing this information either in a booklet or via a digital dashboard all aid in improving the experience for the new hire. Be mindful of the fact that a lot of information is being introduced to the new hire – it takes time to process this information so checking in with the new employee and giving them time to process the information is important.

Modern workers are motivated by five critical needs according to the ADP Research Institute® ; namely freedom, knowledge, stability, self-management and meaning. If a company can meet these needs from the moment an employee starts, this is an excellent start to the employee experience. The new hire and on-boarding process is a company’s chance to fully engage the new employee, following the adage “You only get one chance to make a great first impression”.

The Day One experience is a very important factor that influences the overall employee experience journey. Please feel free to share your thoughts on either this blog or employee experience in general. Follow me on Twitter @elainebeare.

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