It's essential for your organization to have a plan for what to do on a new hire's first day. One of the most important things to do is ensure that a new hire has all the information they need to integrate successfully into your company.
A new employee should feel welcome enough to ask questions, but it also helps to anticipate and preemptively answer some of these questions. Here's a list of questions you should be ready to answer before they're asked.
Questions About Job Responsibilities
Job responsibilities are usually listed in the job posting and discussed during the interview. However, there's still room to add more information about full responsibilities and the company's expectations. Here are a few questions to preemptively answer to ensure the new employee has a clear idea of what their role entails.
What work should I prioritize today? #1
Although it's unlikely the employee will get into the full swing of things on their first day at work, it still helps if they can lay some groundwork as this could be helpful in the days to come. As such, it's important to have a new employee first day schedule, so they don't have to wait to be told what to do.
How will my responsibilities progress in the following days or weeks? #2
The employee will feel less anxious knowing how things will progress as they step fully into their role and start taking on more responsibilities. It's reassuring for them to know they're not required to dive headfirst into their role.
What training will I receive? #3
Knowing full details about the kind of training they'll receive will also help alleviate anxiety. Again it assures that the employee will be adequately trained before tackling responsibilities on their own.
How long will the training last? #4
This helps new hires mentally pace themselves before they start training in their new position.
Questions About Workplace Processes
A new hire should be on the same page as everyone in the organization regarding workplace processes. You can highlight the company's policies and procedures by providing answers to the following questions:
What's the communication process? #5
Whether a new hire is working remotely or in the office, they need to know the communication protocols. Who does the employee report to if their supervisor is not available? Do they communicate via email, Slack, or meetings? How often are updates required? If you're going to be communicating with them via template, it's worth it to use an email template for the new hire's first day.
How does the feedback/evaluation process work? #6
You should provide information such as how frequently you evaluate employees and what you consider during the process. This lets new hires know about the key performance indicators they should start working towards so their performance gets a higher rating.
How does the process for this work? #7
Every company has its way of doing things. For instance, there are different protocols that a new hire has to be aware of, such as how long breaks and lunches take and other company traditions everyone is expected to participate in. It's crucial to preemptively and comprehensively answer this question because a new hire might not know which questions to ask since they're unfamiliar with the company processes.
Can I get an employee handbook? #8
Providing an employee handbook ahead of time will help address many questions employees have before they can even ask them. Employee handbooks explain how different processes work and how the company operates in terms of dress code, handling conflict, reporting abuse, and more.
Questions About Workplace Layout
If a new hire will be working at your physical offices, giving them a complete tour of the workplace should be on your new employee first day checklist. Consider the following questions to ensure all bases are covered on a new hire’s first day.
Where do I find the bathroom and the breakroom? #9
New hires will need to know the location of the bathroom and breakroom for when they need to take care of their physical needs. If both locations are not hard to find, you can provide quick directions. Alternatively, you can give them a quick tour so they get to lock down the location of each place. No doubt most new hires will be relieved when you preemptively show them the bathroom if they're too embarrassed to ask.
Where should I park? #10
Let the employee know if they have a designated parking spot or if they're free to park wherever they please. Be sure to provide them with a parking pass if it's required.
Which entrance/exit should I use? #11
If the company has more than one entrance or exit, it helps to make it clear which entrance or exit to use. Sometimes, employees must use a different entrance when driving into work, or perhaps they use a different door separate from customers.
What are the key workplace areas I need to know of? #12
A workplace tour, even a virtual one - will help new hires familiarize themselves with the layout of your company. That way, they'll have no problem navigating different locations as they go about their business.
Questions About Team Members
It's crucial that a new hire knows as much as possible about the rest of their team from the first day. This helps to ensure the success of future projects. Therefore, you should provide answers to these questions beforehand.
Who will I be working with? #13
It's good to introduce a new hire to their colleagues before they ask. The sooner you do so, the sooner they can start building relationships and getting acclimated to the rest of the team. Make sure you provide the names of everyone they will be working with. Also, explain the roles of everyone on the team and how they relate to the employee's responsibilities.
Are there any team dynamics I should be aware of? #14
This can be tricky to answer, but it's helpful to give a rundown of team dynamics, so the new employee knows what to expect and avoid. For instance, you can let them know about friendships, conflicts, and habits unique to the team they will be a part of.
How can I help the team right now? #15
This will help the new hire quickly figure out ways to add value to the organization from the get-go. Talk about the challenges the team is currently facing and the tasks and efforts required to address these challenges.
Who is the team leader, and what does the organization chart look like? #16
Besides knowing the team members they will be working with, a new hire should also know who they're going to be reporting to. Showing them an organization chart will make it easier to understand company politics.
Questions About Salaries and Benefits
Employee compensation and benefits are always a hot topic that must be explored fully. You can use the following questions to determine additional information to provide that may not have been included in the initial offer.
How flexible is payroll? #17
Let the new employee know what to expect when it comes to payroll schedule and payment methods. For instance, will they receive their earnings monthly or biweekly? Will they be paid via their preferred method, whether that's direct deposit, paper check, or a payout card?
Are there any bonus opportunities? #18
If your company offers bonuses, find time to break them down on the employee's first day at work. Perhaps, the company offers Thank You bonuses, commissions, and other opportunities to earn bonuses. This should get the employee excited and motivate them to work towards the right goals.
How do payroll-related policies work? #19
For instance, how does the company's overtime policy work, and what does the employee have to do when it comes to expense reimbursement?
What other perks does the company offer? #20
Company perks can range from same-day pay and tuition reimbursement to wellness programs and dental packages. New employees are almost always interested in knowing this information.
Other Questions to Consider
These last two questions will keep the ball rolling so that the employee ends up with all the information they need to fully settle into their new role.
Do you have any questions to ask? #21
Preemptively answering questions on a new hire's first day is all well and good, but you may not be able to anticipate everything the employee needs to know of. So this is one of the most important questions to ask a new employee on the first day.
What do I do when I have more questions to ask? #22
It's not possible to cover every question that a new employee has on their first day. Hence, it would be best to clarify what the employee needs to do when they have questions to ask in the future. For instance, can they come to you anytime, or do they have to wait until a specific time?
It would help if you also considered using a new employee first day agenda template to ensure that the overall onboarding process is as smooth as possible.
The Final Word On Questions to Ask On a New Hire's First Day
When onboarding a new hire, you have a great opportunity to kickstart a positive employee experience. A new hire's first day will set the tone for the rest of their stay with the organization. It's well worth your time to review these questions and provide satisfactory answers that set new employees up for success.