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How-To Guide: Making New Employees Feel Confident & Comfortable on Their First Day

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When was the last time you started a new job at a new place? Maybe it was only a few months ago or maybe it was over a decade ago. Either way, I bet you remember it. Why? Because the first day of a new job is all about first impressions, good or bad. That’s why the first day is so important; it sets the tone for every workday after it. So, how are you setting the tone for new employees?

10 Ways to Welcome New Employees

The first day at a new job is often overwhelming. A new place, new people, a new role – it’s a lot of change to deal with. Oftentimes, a new employee is nervous and cautious. However, as an employer, you have the power to make your new employees’ first day a positive and memorable experience. By implementing effective onboarding strategies, you can help new employees feel confident and comfortable from the moment they walk through the door. Let’s explore some essential strategies for successful onboarding.

1. Clear Communication

Effective communication is key to helping new employees feel at ease. Before their first day, provide clear instructions on what to expect, including where to go, what to bring, and who to ask for upon arrival. When they get situated at their desk, provide an in-depth schedule so they know exactly what they are doing when. Make sure to have regular check-ins throughout the day and invite as many questions as possible. Clear communication is absolutely essential because it helps the whole day go smoothly while also letting the new employee know that they are in good hands.

The First-Day Communication Checklist:

  • Location & Directions, including where to park and what entrance to use.
  • Start Time, including whether or not they should arrive a few minutes early.
  • Dress Code, including any special dress days (ie: “Casual Fridays”).
  • Documents to Bring, such as photo ID, social security card, or work authorization documents.
  • Contact Person, including both name and contact information of the person they should ask for upon arrival.
  • Agenda for the Day, including orientation sessions, meetings, lunch plans, training activities, and expected time of dismissal.
  • Facilities Information, including where to find restrooms, break rooms, and conference rooms.

2. Warm Welcome

A warm welcome sets the stage for a positive experience. Greet new hires with enthusiasm and introduce them to their team members. A friendly smile and a welcoming demeanor can go a long way in making newcomers feel valued and appreciated. At Baudville, one way we welcome new hires is by presenting them with a “welcome to the team” card that is signed by everyone they will be working with. This not only sets the tone but also makes sure the rest of the team knows that a new member will soon be joining them. Pair this card with a piece of branded drinkware or a notebook to complete the welcome set!

3. Personalized Onboarding Plan

Every new employee is unique, so it’s essential to create a personalized onboarding plan tailored to their needs and skills. Take the time to understand their goals and aspirations and combine that information with their job description and role. Figure out their learning style and design a plan that helps them acclimate to their role and the company culture. Here are some things to think about when creating an onboarding plan:

  • Learning Style: Is your new employee a visual learner, an auditory learner, a hands-on learner, or a read/write learner?
  • Manager Relationship: How does your new employee prefer to be managed? How ofter would they like you to check in?

4. Buddy System

Pairing new hires with a buddy can provide invaluable support during the onboarding process. A buddy serves as a mentor, offering guidance, answering questions, and helping the new employee navigate their new environment with confidence. This is someone that knows the ropes. They can teach the new employee while building trust.

5. Office Tour

Give new employees a comprehensive office tour to familiarize them with their surroundings. Show them where essential facilities are located, such as restrooms, break rooms, and meeting spaces. Don’t forget the water cooler! A guided tour helps new hires feel more comfortable and less disoriented. During this time, introduce the new hire to employees that are both on and off their team.

6. Training and Resources

Provide comprehensive training and resources to equip new employees with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their roles. Offer hands-on training, access to relevant documentation, and opportunities for skill development to empower them from day one. A new hire should feel like they are being supported from the moment they step through the door to the second they leave for the day. Providing an ample amount of training, meetings, and resources is essential to making them feel comfortable in their new position and at their new company.

7. Feedback and Support

Offer regular feedback and support to new employees as they settle into their roles. Encourage open communication and provide constructive feedback to help them grow and improve. For the first few weeks, you may want to schedule regular 1-on-1s. This gives your new hire a chance to ask questions or share concerns while building that all-important manager-employee relationship. These meetings can start at a cadence of once a day, once every few days, or once a week. As time goes on, you can transition to once every other week. Let them know that support is available whenever they need it.

8. Integration into Company Culture

Foster a sense of belonging by integrating new employees into the company culture from the outset. Encourage participation in team activities, meetings, and social events to help them forge connections with their colleagues and feel like part of the team. A great way to get this started is by scheduling a lunch with your new hire. Invite the team to join, go out or order in, and let conversation flow. This is great for a few reasons. 1. Who doesn’t LOVE a free lunch!? 2. It provides a more casual space for people to connect and get to know one another. 3. It’s kind of like a mini-celebration that further welcomes the new employee to the team.

9. Celebrate Milestones

Acknowledge and celebrate milestones in new employees’ journeys, such as their first week or month on the job. Recognizing their achievements reinforces their sense of accomplishment and motivates them to continue contributing positively to the team. This acknowledgement can be as simple as a handwritten note or a quick shout-out in the weekly huddle. A small gesture like this can leave a long, lasting impression!

10. Follow Up

Following up with new hires in the months following onboarding is essential for reinforcing learning, addressing challenges, gathering feedback, monitoring progress, fostering engagement, and building relationships. By investing time and effort into ongoing support and communication, employers can set their new employees up for long-term success and satisfaction in their roles.


Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking, but as an employer, you have the power to make your new employees’ first day a positive and memorable experience. By implementing these effective onboarding strategies, you can help new hires feel confident and comfortable from the moment they walk through the door.

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