First days could be a whole lot better than just a morning tea with your manager

Why do we have parties and celebrations when someone leaves our team, but not when someone starts? Some of the leaving dos I’ve been to have been extraordinary (legendary even) where as a first day celebration is usually a rather sedate morning or afternoon tea with your manager and maybe the rest of your immediate team.

In most other aspects of life you tend to celebrate publicly and positively about new beginnings. The birth of a baby, a wedding or a house warming. It’s because they’re filled with new possibilities of what might be. So why not do this with a new employee?

I understand that the people you choose to celebrate your wedding with are people that you already have a relationship with. But don’t you think that perhaps we should know the people we’re bringing into our companies well enough to want to go out for a drink with them? Shouldn’t we already already know how they take their coffee, or if they like sausage rolls or donuts for their morning tea?

If our recruitment processes were a little more personalised, thorough and aligned with our culture then maybe we’d be getting to know our people a little better. And then we would actually to celebrating them starting. Take a look at this cool blog showcasing what Lever does for new starts.

And check out some oddball ways that some start ups are doing on first days and on-boarding. From cleaning the toilets, writing your own on-boarding programme to recording a video of yourself and playing a live video game.

We recently had a couple of new starts so we wrote and published a blog just about them. We’re a small team so this makes sense for us. Two new people have a big impact on the culture of a team of 6. And they bring in skill sets that previously didn’t exist for us. So we’re all about making a song and dance about it.

We also wanted them to feel part of the team asap. So getting their swag and then appropriate photos taken and loaded onto our website was really important.

Having someone new start in your team can be jarring. They’re coming in to add value, or fill a gap, or bring in a new skill set or way of thinking. It’s an exciting and labour intensive time so you’ve got to be more welcoming than just showing them to their desk, their chair, their coffee cup and then leaving them to it.

What works best for you guys out there? I’d love to hear about some creative ideas in your process that demonstrate’s your company’s culture and values.