Did you know that starting a new job is among the top ten most stressful life events? As a matter of fact, it actually ranks at number four on this recent list! We’ve all been there before, so we can certainly attest to the stress, confusion and down-right fear associated with starting a new job. For those brave enough to take the plunge into the new hire pool, the first day can make or break their perception of the company and career they’re beginning. After all, you only get one first impression (and that goes for both new hires and their managers!) Here are some tips for how managers can support successful first days:

Communicate

Communication is so important in everything we do, but especially when it comes to the new hire experience. This new employee is hinging their every move on what you, as their boss, say. The less you communicate, the more they are left to interpret on their own. Ultimately, this leads to added confusion and stress.

At the very least, your new hire should know the expected arrival time for their first day, as well any dress code requirements. Other helpful tips to communicate are the address of the office (should it differ from the interview location), specifics for parking or other helpful commuting information, codes required for entry, any needed HR documentation (such as a driver’s license, passport, Social Security card, etc.) and a map or list of local businesses that may be helpful (such as restaurants for lunch or convenience stores).

Itinerary

Speaking of communication, an itinerary is a simple solution for adding clarity to an employee’s first experiences. You don’t, and most likely won’t, spend every moment of a new hire’s first day by their side. – and that’s okay! After all, they’ll have a lot going on, including HR orientation, new hire training and any other requirements your organization bestows on its employees. However, taking the time to put together an itinerary for your new hires will go a long way in setting the proper expectations of what they can expect on day one.

Introductions

Your new hire should have an opportunity to meet all of their colleagues on day one, and it’s your job to bridge the introductions. After the morning rush of commuting and catching up on emails, walk your new hire around to each individual in your office for introductions. Explain their role and any fun facts you might know about them, and give the other employees a chance to welcome them to the team.

Desk

Speaking of fun facts, use your knowledge of the new hire to decorate their desk with things they like. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but giving your new hire a personalized space for them to feel comfortable and welcomed will be a nice touch for eliminating those first day jitters. What if you don’t know a whole lot about your new hire? No worries! Try sending a fun little questionnaire to help get to know them before their first day and use their answers to guide you in the right direction. Some categories to consider are favorite foods, hobbies, movies and music.

Lunch

Lunch should always be provided for your new hire on the first day. I can recall my first day at this company, and a huge group of at least colleagues took me out to lunch! It was such a fun way to get to know so many of my colleagues in a more relaxed setting, and it took the stress off of trying to finding a local restaurant until I got my bearings.

Starting a new job doesn’t have to be so scary. With these tips, you can ensure any of your new hires will be so grateful they accepted their role, and eager to come back on day two.

Have any other tips for how managers can support successful first days? Share them in the comments below!