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Avoid an awkward first day

How to avoid an awkward first day: you often get lots of advice about best practices when you are inducting new employees. But what about the opposite – avoiding first day disasters.

You know, like not letting a new employee lock themselves in a walk-in fridge within hours of joining your company. Or leaving a mysterious spray in a desk drawer only for your recruit to discover the hard way that it’s mace. Or adorning your latest hire’s desk with a beautiful bouquet of flowers… which were embarrassingly intended for someone else who’s off on maternity leave. Awkward.

Those are all real examples, and our favourite (no, that should be least favourite!) is the confession of a newbie who on day one was allowed loose on an email system that let him send 10,000 customers an email wrongly saying their insurance had expired.

It’s essential to prep for first days: among other things readying workstations, providing a tour and setting up training. You are responsible for your new team member from day one. It is up to you to make sure they know the essentials. Also it puts them at ease if you go through the simple basics such as when to make coffee/tea or what most people do at lunch or even who not to email. Take the time on a new recruit’s day – to make sure there are no slip ups. It will put your newbie at ease and you will feel better too.

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