Do you spend more money on going away parties when someone leaves the company than you do welcome parties when someone joins? This was a question posed by Jack Daly a few years ago at one of the Fortune Growth Summits. Our team really connected with the idea of treating a new employee’s first day like a celebration, and over the past few years we have created an internal process called “Great First Day" as a critical part of their employee onboarding process. How do you make employees feel welcome from their very first day?
We started taking a very intentional approach to how we onboard new people into the company (just as we take a careful approach to hiring the right people). A week or two before the new hire’s first day, we create an hour-by-hour plan for their first day or two. Every employee who has joined us over the past two years has shared in this wonderful experience and now looks forward to paying it forward when someone new joins us. The “Great First Day” really is a celebration for everyone in the company, and as a result, people feel welcomed, appreciated and planned for. This practice has become a way that we live one of our own Core Values, Be Appreciative.
A team lunch is a great first start, but it pays to go above and beyond. Employees that develop quick bonds with their coworkers are able to feel welcome, learn the company culture and are more likely to be fully up and running in the first 90 days. The earlier that the new team member is working closely with their teammates, the faster the return on payroll to your bottom line as well. It is a win-win!