There was a meme circulating on the Internet, featuring Homer Simpson in a smart tie, clutching onto a clipboard.

It’s his first day at work, and the caption says: “Can you repeat the part of the stuff where you said all about the things?” It perfectly captures the sense of overwhelm most new employees feel on day one in the office.

If you are the founder or owner of your company, it may be hard to remember that far back. But still, at some point, you’ve probably been there, wondering:

  • Who was that guy again?
  • Where is the bathroom, and how do I get coffee?
  • Is that a project I’m working on or not?

Helping new recruits through these confusing few days is crucial.

At Engagement Multiplier, there are three techniques we use to onboard each new hire in their first 48 hours with us and engage them from the outset. Not only do you want to make them feel comfortable, but it’s also about setting them up for success in your company long-term.

Employee Onboarding Activity One: The welcome pack

It’s hard to absorb everything you’re told in your first week, so we put the most important information in a written welcome pack.

While some of the material is the same for everyone, we customize it where possible, using the information we’ve learned about the new hire during the recruitment process.

The pack contains:

  • A personal welcome note from the owner – including a link to the personality profile, so they know how best to communicate
  • An introduction to their line manager and a list of the colleagues they’ll collaborate with (“Your Engagement Multiplier family”)
  • Background of the company, products, and target market
  • Housekeeping items, e.g., how to book sick leave and PTO
  • A detailed schedule of their first four days, so they know exactly what to expect

This thorough, but welcoming, document also lets the new hire know what’s expected of them in their first three months at Engagement Multiplier. They need total clarity around what they need to achieve, and how we’ll measure how well they are doing.

Employee Onboarding Activity Two: Team introductions

It can often take weeks for new employees to meet everyone they are going to work with.

We speed up the process, so over the first 48 hours, everyone in the team spends a couple of minutes introducing themselves, either in person or online. Even if they don’t remember everyone immediately, these touchpoints create a sense of connectedness.

We also “onboard” the team. When a new person is introduced, it is only natural that existing team members will ask: How will this new hire impact me? We tell them about the new hire and how they are expected to adjust. This is especially important if we hire a duplicate role.

Getting the new hire happily embedded in the team is the goal and a hyper-effective way to do this is to assign a member of the team as their ambassador. In fact, according to HCI, this approach can speed up new hire proficiency by up to 87%.

Employee Onboarding Activity Three: The Bonus

It sounds cheesy, but we ask the new recruit to write down three positive things that happened at the end of each day. This way, they can actively reflect on their experience. Their thoughts are reviewed at the end of the 90-day process.

Use these three activities to create engagement for a new hire within their first 48 hours with you. Well, most new hires, anyway. I’m not sure this would have helped Homer Simpson. D’oh!