November 26, 2022

Small Business Advice

First Day of Work

Jerry Osteryoung | 10/26/2009
Hiring a new employee takes so much work and effort. You have to spend time recruiting and evaluating each candidate and then selecting the right applicant for the job.

It is so important to realize that when a new worker starts, their first day at work is critical. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

So many entrepreneurs use a new employee’s first day of work to take care of all of the paperwork that is so necessary to the hiring policy. However, this is not the ideal way to start a new employee. Of course the paperwork must be done, but it is probably best to move this task to the second day of work and use the first day to generate the best initial impression that you can.

Here are some things to consider when preparing for that critical first day. Before the new employee reports for his or her first day, there are a couple of things that should be done. First, I think it is so important that the manager who will be supervising the new employee sends a nice handwritten card. Additionally, a day or two before the new employee starts, send an announcement to your entire staff via email or intranet notifying them that this individual will be joining the team. These are both great ways to make the new employee feel welcome even before they set foot on the premises.

It is so important to make a new employee’s first day of work a positive experience. One very simple thing that you can do is welcome the new employee at the door and give them a tour of the facility. Some employers actually lay out a red carpet for new employees. The point here is to ensure that each new employee feels welcome as soon as they hit the front door of your business.

I have seen so many employees arrive for their first day of work to find that they are without a permanent office or that their computers are not yet hooked up. It is vital that the work area and technology be set up and ready to go by the time the new employee starts. Some employers even prepare a gift bag containing a personalized item like a monogrammed coffee cup and some company apparel and leave it on the new employee’s desk.

An employee’s first day should also include a meeting with the CEO and top staff. At this meeting the employee should be made to feel welcome and be given a sense of the company’s purpose and mission.

Now go out and make sure that you have a plan in place to create the best possible first impression for each new employee.

Jerry Osteryoung is the Director of Outreach of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at Florida State University, the Jim Moran Professor of Entrepreneurship; and Professor of Finance. He was the founding Executive Director of the Jim Moran Institute and served in that position from 1995 through 2008. He can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 850-644-3372.

Tags: Florida Small Business

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