1. Start date on a Friday - I can't take full credit for this one. When I read Jack Daly's The Sales Playbook: For Hyper Sales Growth, he suggested that Fridays are actually the best day to make an employee feel welcome. On Mondays, employees are back from the weekend so they're busy catching up. And besides, often times we'd rather be anywhere but work after a great weekend. But guess what everyone loves and thanks God for... FRIDAYS! Your new hire gets to see employees rounding out their week in a good mood.
2. Have an orientation plan already laid out - Show them you've been expecting them instead of cleaning their desk off as they stand above you waiting to start their day. Have their work area clean, have their computer functioning and mouse and keyboard with new batteries. Be sure to have an email already set up so they can start communicating internally. If you're trying to up the ante have the other employees each write a welcome letter on a post-it and cover the computer screen with them.
3. Create a company welcome kit - Tour of the office? Sure. But do you remember how fun back-to-school shopping was? Do you know why? The anticipation of making new friends, you get new stuff (lunchbox, bookbag, pens, etc...) AND you just went up a grade which means you're smarter than you were last year. A new job can be treated exactly the same. Instead of sticking a bunch of pens in a holder, give them a gift box "survival kit" for their first week. You can include snacks, branded water bottle, highlighters in the company color... anything you could find useful during your first week at work
4. Assign a buddy - Provide them with someone that's friendly and knows a lot about the office. The 'buddy' doesn't necessarily need to be in the same department, just someone with a good grasp on company workings. The purpose is to provide them with a go-to person they have access to during their first few weeks to ask questions they may feel embarrassed to ask a supervisor.
5. Ask for feedback - At the end of their first week, be sure to schedule a meeting to ask "How's your week been?" This is a great time to check-in if you haven't worked with the employee all week but more importantly, it shows them that they are part of the team and their opinions matter to you.