The day that you bring someone new into your team is a critical time – you want to set them up for success (otherwise, why bring them in…)  You want the new person to be excited about the process, not dreading coming to work or the new non-profit cause.  As a leader, you are responsible for making the “first day” experience a positive one, even though you are busy with other things (perhaps one of the reasons why you’ve brought someone else into the team in the first place)!

The author provides three key tips on making the first day a positive experience for the new person AND the team:

  1. Make introductions. Not just mentioning names, but actually creating links between people by highlighting how they will be working together and what their complementary strengths are.  Although the author doesn’t mention the following, it also shows that you, the leader, are publicly acknowledging the strengths of your team members!
  2. Prepare your team. Very few people like surprises.  If you’re going to have a new person “shadow” someone, that person should be told in advance so they have time to prepare!  To put this in perspective – would YOU want to be ready if someone was brought to you?
  3. Have a plan.  The author sums it perfectly with the following:  “… taking the time to plan out a variety of assignments or training tasks for the new hire — ideally, for at least the first week on the job — will not only help him get up to speed quicker, but assure him that you’re truly invested in his success. Meaning: He’ll be much likelier to show up on day two confident that he’s in the right place.”  This applies for non-profits as well.

Take a look at your welcoming / onboarding practices – is there anything that you can do to improve the “new person’s” first day and set them (and the team) up for immediate and future success?

How To Make Your New Employee’s First Day A Huge Success by Avery Augustine at The Muse on 10 March 2014.

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