On-Boarding Without Over-Boring


Welcome aboard!

The first day on a new job will often be full of these things:

  • Nervousness
  • Boring-ness
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Paperwork
  • Awkwardness
  • Training

But, what if we added a few other things to the list:

  • Laughter
  • Silliness
  • Welcome Cards
  • Free food
  • Decorations
  • Swag

For as much as YOU CHOSE the new employee, they also made a PERSONAL CHOICE to work for you.

Now, all of the ideas in this post may not apply to every type of business out there. But, if it makes you rethink the on-boarding process at your company just a teeny bit, then this post was a success.

I asked some friends on Facebook (thanks guys!) to share things that worked on their first day at a new job. Here’s what folks said:

  • Having their computer station set up and ready to go
  • Company tour
  • Meeting everyone in the company face to face
  • Lunch with the team
  • Being told you are allowed to browse the internet with no boundaries (thanks @jtwatkin for that gem)

What people didn’t like:

  • Paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork
  • Confusion about schedules or other things that were not clear when you took the position

We’re not perfect but we’ve found that making the new employee feel most welcome on their first day is ideal. Here are some things that we at Phone.com do for our new customer service representatives:

On Boarding Without Over Boring

Welcome Cards

We encourage our existing reps to write notes of encouragement to welcome the new employee. The team writes one card per new representative, complete with advice about the job, motivating words and even pictures. We scatter the cards around the desk for the new rep.

Free Lunch

Happy tummies all around! We will order in and eat together as a team on the first day for a casual, welcoming meal. Food has a way to bring people together.

Meet and Greet

Nothing says “hello” better than a face to face meet and greet. Show your new employee off to the rest of the company, everyone–from the COO and beyond–to give a good, old fashioned handshake and welcome. A tour of the office is always ideal as well.


If you got it, give it! We placed Phone.com mugs, pens, balloons, stress balls and a shirt on the desk of the new representative.

Show Your Culture

If you have a fun, upbeat and positive culture–show it, especially in the beginning. The first impression counts! This lets the employee know what they are getting into as well as helps sooth those first day nerves.

What are some of YOUR ideas to make the first day of a new job totally awesome?


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  • I think having things ready and getting new employees settled in on their first day is not only convenient but helps to establish trust in the company. I live and work in Japan, where many employers will only directly deposit your paycheck into an account with a bank that the company itself uses. I once took a temporary translation job where myself and the rest of our translation team were asked to use our lunch break on the first day to go and open new bank accounts with the company’s bank of preference! Talk about the wrong way to welcome new employees! Now I always ask any new employer is there is anything I need to prepare before Day 1.

    • Alicia, thank you for your comment! You bring up a HUGE element here–TRUST!

      Trust is so fragile and when it comes to first impressions, you definitely want to establish that right off the bat.

      Your experience definitely sounds frustrating but at least you learned from it. And, I appreciate you sharing it with us!

  • Great tips, Jenny! These will make a new hire feel like they made the right decision when they enjoy their first day.

  • If your team has done some sort of group assessment like Everything DiSC or another, it’s great to share what our group’s type/personality/set of priorities is. Then give the assessment to the new hire (if not already used during the hiring process) and let them see how their profile alters the groups. The new hire sees that they are part of a group and will be contributing something new.

    • OH! Love this–thanks Kristeen. We currently use Strengths Finder and encourage everyone to share and discuss their strengths and how we all function together as a team with so many various elements. Besides Everything DiSC, are there others that you would recommend?

  • Pingback: The R.O.A.D. To AWESOME Customer Service Training | Communicate Better Blog

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