<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=73454&amp;fmt=gif">

Employee Onboarding: How To Create An Engaging & Fun First Day

June 29, 2018 | Mike Pumphrey

How to make the first day fun and engagingThe first day at a new job is a big moment for any employee. First days are exciting but also overwhelming, which makes it even more important for employers to create fun and engaging first day plans for their new hires.

Doing so is especially important in senior care, where 40% of new hires turn over in the first 90 days. Here are six fun onboarding ideas for creating a memorable first day that engages new hires and gives you a head start on your employee retention efforts.

  1. Prepare Internally

After the interview process is completed and an offer has been extended, your HR team should announce to the rest of the organization that a new team member will soon be joining the ranks.

Whether it’s via team meeting or email, make sure basic information it shared, including the new hire's: 

  • First and last name
  • Job title
  • The team they’ll be joining
  • A fun piece of information, like his or her favorite karaoke song

Sharing small pieces of information will help the rest of the company prepare for the new hire and can help welcome him or her with open arms.

Since a majority of senior care employees don’t typically have their own office space, transform the employee break room into a welcome area. Place a sign or two welcoming the individual, gather necessary supplies and consider getting a few fun items, like balloons. These sound like small details, but new hires will appreciate the gestures and will feel valued right off the bat.

It’s also important to have the new hire’s email, phone number and any login information for tools like scheduling software, or employee engagement software are set up ahead of the first day so they can hit the ground running. Basic orientation items for day one should also include an explanation of how the schedule works and training on benefits, including any employee financial wellness perks offered.

  1. Reduce Paperwork

Part of the traditional first day ritual is filling out mountains of paperwork, such as tax forms reviewing the company handbook. But with electronic documents, companies can reduce the amount of paperwork new hires have to review or sign on their first day.

Share the documents with new hires before their start date so they can fill everything out before they start. Reducing the amount of paperwork on day one allows HR to create a much more engaging first day. Instead of combing through tedious forms, new hires can participate in fun activities and get to know their coworkers.

  1. Have Some Fun

Work is work, but that doesn’t mean companies can’t have some fun, too, especially on a new hire’s first day. Organize an activity on the first day that not only creates a fun atmosphere, but also represents an opportunity for new hires to meet and mingle with current employees. 

Traditional fun first day activities include catered lunches, team lunch outings and games or icebreakers. I’ve even heard of companies sending employees on a scavenger hunt to get them acclimated to their surroundings and meet their new coworkers.

  1. Introduce Everyone

During a new hire’s first day, he or she should be introduced to as many people as possible, particularly fellow team members and the person who will be serving as their mentor. This will help individuals get acclimated to their new work environments and quickly start to make connections with coworkers.

  1. Personalize Their Experience

Show that you took note of their interests and hobbies during the interview and customize their first day. If they mentioned they were a huge sports fan, connect them with another member of the team that is, as well.

If they expressed interest in other areas of the company – think a CNA that wants to become a nurse, or one that has aspirations of working in HR one day – introduce them to people who can serve as guiding examples.

  1. Check In At The End Of The Day

Before they leave for the day, arrange some time to chat about how their first day went. Ask them what they are most excited about in their new role, what questions or concerns they have and if there is anything that the organization can do to ensure their success. Before they walk out the door, be sure to tell them again how excited you are to have them on board.

You might even consider sending them away with some company swag; a t-shirt, mug, or hat – just something small to thank them for joining the team. (Also, not a bad way to slyly have them do some marketing for your company!)

First days are crucial for setting the tone for a new employee. Organizing a fun and engaging first day helps reduce the monotony usually associated with onboarding. Whether companies are welcoming a single new hire or a group, they should strive to create an engaging and fun to set the tone for the days and months to come.



Recent Posts

Employee Turnover & Weekend Staffing Levels Going Public On Nursing Home Compare
Must-Have Senior Care Employee Perks & Programs To Drive Retention In 2022
OnShift’s Top Blog Posts of 2021


Recruit, Engage, Retain

Operational Excellence

Payroll-Based Journal

About Mike Pumphrey

Mike Pumphrey is Vice President of Product Marketing at OnShift. His expertise in staffing and labor management strategies in long-term care and senior living is foundational to his role leading OnShift’s Product Marketing team. Mike works hand-in-hand with state and national associations, senior care providers, and with OnShift’s Customer Success and Product teams to create impactful best practices aimed to help solve the daily workforce challenges in senior care. Mike shares insights, research and recommendations to improve clinical, operational, and financial outcomes through regular blog posts and conference speaking engagements.

See OnShift In Action

See for yourself why thousands of providers rely on OnShift’s innovative software for recruitment, hiring, workforce management, pay and engagement. Request your personalized demo today.

Request A Demo