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Welcoming a new employee into the team is not a straightforward task. The first day of a new job is nerve wracking yet exciting, and as a team manager, you need to make the new starter feel welcome straight away. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to put the nerves at ease and amp the excitement up to 100%.

Employee retention starts from day one…first impressions count on the first day of a new job and the interview process is a thing of the past. It is all about the first day now! As an example, our 2017 Ecommerce Salary Survey shows that 21% of ecommerce professionals left their previous role because needs were not being met, while 6% resigned after realising they made the wrong decision.

Supportive management, understanding employee needs and goals, and team culture are just some of the ingredients to a great employee retention strategy. We thought we’d share how you can get this off to a flying start!

What can you do to make a new employee feel welcome?

You might see various posts across LinkedIn, or even Instagram, where excited new starters share a picture of a lovely looking welcome pack. Chocolate, company T-Shirts, champagne, notepads…we could go on. We’re not saying this isn’t good, because it’s bound to get people excited. However, they won’t remember it once they finish that last piece of chocolate.

With employee retention in mind, you can pull out all the stops in the simplest of ways. We guarantee that while they may be the smallest things, they will be remembered in the long term.

Phone the new employee before the first day

Phoning a new employee before they begin is a perfect way to simply check in and ask them how everything is going before they start. Once a job offer is accepted and contracts are signed, this shouldn’t be the final contact before the first day.

Let them know that you and the team are excited for them to start and ask if there is anything else they need to go over or let you know. If they want a tea or coffee on the first day, but don’t consume dairy, imagine how pleasantly surprised they would be if you had catered to that…it’s the little things, trust me!

Prepare for the new employees first day in advance

Be sure to prepare everything for the new employee to ensure a seamless first day setup. Here’s a quick, fail proof checklist:

  • Does the computer turn on?
  • Are all passwords set up & easy to access when the newbie begins to setup?
  • Is the desk space clean and completely clear of the belongings of the previous occupant?
  • Is Reception and/or all team members expecting the new employee, with correct dates and times in mind?
  • Ask current employees what they remember about their first day and what could be done to make it memorable?

All team members should meet the new employee

Like all the tasks on the checklist above, quick sessions for the new employee to meet team members should be scheduled in. Ensure that all team members are happy with their time and that the meeting is in the diary.

If one of the meetings must be rearranged and it’s unavoidable, just make sure someone takes their place. It isn’t too welcoming for someone when a new team member cannot commit to a proper introduction. That’s exactly the purpose these meetings; for people to talk about their role, what their interests are and welcoming the new employee with a friendly chat. It beats a quick introduction at the kettle, that’s for sure!

Arrange lunch with the new employee

Taking a new employee to lunch on their first day is a simple way to make them feel welcome. They will be unsure where to go or where to sit, so bringing them along to lunch with some of the team alleviates all of this. It’s also the perfect opportunity to show them their new work location and where they can grab a spot of lunch moving forward.

A plan of action for the week

There must be a clear structure for a new employee in their first week in a new job. New employees want to feel they offer value immediately, so try to limit the general tasks that you feel might make them ease into the company.

They know the role they are there to do…they did apply and go through the interview process after all. Let them get stuck in and gather a good pace immediately, but make sure there is still time to settle and meet everyone. The manager and senior team is responsible for a first week induction that perfectly balances tasks, introductions, and general settling in.

Employee retention strategy starts on the first day

There is no better sentiment to finish on than this. An employee retention strategy should be in place for all employees, and engaging them early on really gets you in good stead for a new employee joining the team. 


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