• Jason Downes

8/52: Setting up newbies for success

Updated: Feb 26


The New Starter Lunch


My welcome to Stratacon was exceptional and on day one I felt like I was already a valued member of the team. This is not always an easy thing to achieve, but I believe there a few simple things that go a long way to helping.


I really look forward to welcoming and inducting new starters and I’m constantly looking for ways to make the experience positive for all. This week we’ve celebrated the arrival of two new starters in our business (big news for a boutique consultancy!) and we're keen to set them up for success early.

Having worked for five companies over the last 20 years, I’ve had a variety of induction experiences from good to bad. Here are my thoughts on three simple things you can do to welcome new starters to your organisation:


1. Bring them into the office before they start

I take new starters on a brief office tour and invite them to our Friday night drinks (if this part of your team culture) or a coffee with the team. Many new team members have told me how much they valued the pre-start office visit and chance to meet the team. They were able to visualise their workspace, make connections with individuals and as a result they experienced less stress and anxiety on their first day.


As an aside, give your new starters an opportunity to complete the usual new employee forms including superannuation, tax file declaration and any internal policies prior to them starting. This way they can hand them to you on arrival and not spend their first two hours reading dry documentation with little or no interaction.


2. Have a really clear plan on day 1

It’s really important you’ve planned out a schedule for the first day and ideally the first few weeks. Key things to include:


  • Have their desk ready

  • Business cards

  • Computer set up

  • Conduct a meet and greet/office tour, building induction/OH&S induction, introductions to staff

  • Training on critical systems and processes

  • Lunch out with their immediate team

  • Tour of local cafes/lunch spots.

After this, it's great if you can have a clear plan for them to digest what they'll be doing over the next few weeks including internal and external training.


3. Setting clear expectations

This is particularly critical in a sales environment such as recruitment, however I believe it really applies to all roles. Let your new employee know from day one what 'good looks like' and tell them when and how their performance will be reviewed and rewarded. They may have just started in a junior role today, but let them know straight away how they can progress to the next rung in their career with your organisation.


It's all about the person...

I've seen many amazing day one photos with welcome gifts sporting the latest technology. That really is something great to post about, however, I think the real focus for new starters should be on welcoming the person: Introduce them to the culture and vision of the organisation and give them every opportunity to understand how to be successful in their role from day one.


With this in mind, I hope your new starters can have as good a first day as I did.

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