Onboarding 2 min

How To Create Good First Days (5 Highlights From My Self-Onboarding)

November 9, 2015

What was your worst first day on a job? Did you show up to the wrong office building? Maybe you dropped a plate full of food on a customer’s lap? Or maybe this happened?

My worst first day was at a window cleaning job. I had spent the entire day sweating in the July sun, trudging up and down ladders in a depressing slog, only to drop a window well grate cover onto a basement window while we were cleaning up to go home. I earned a paltry -$50si on the day (yes, negative $50).

So why do we have so many more bad first-day than good first-day stories? It’s probably because first days on the job are tough. We’re nervous about whether or not we made the right decision or are qualified for the job. We’re anxious to know if we’ll like our new boss and coworkers. And where did we put that darn social security card?! Our brains seem overworked, and the slightest thing can shut them down.

So why did I love my first day at BambooHR? Because of our self-onboarding tools. After completing my self-onboarding, I was legitimately excited to start the job, and I was able to come home with a great first-day story. To commemorate that great first day, here are the five highlights from my self-onboarding that I’m still telling my friends about.

1. It was efficient and easy. When preparing for a new job, I always feel like I should be doing something to prepare. With self-onboarding, I was able to do just that. Rather than guessing, I had total confidence that I was doing exactly what I needed to do. The New Employee Information form was simple and intuitive. The electronic signature tools made it easy to navigate and sign forms. All of the stress that usually comes with starting a new job disappeared as I completed my self-onboarding tasks. I arrived on my first day to do something totally unexpected: my job!

Learn more about onboarding from 1,000 other employee's and download our Definitive Guide to Onboarding.

2. It ensured accuracy. I usually hate all the forms to fill out on the first day. I never quite know what to put down for dependents, or I can’t quite remember my banking account information for direct deposit. Thanks to self-onboarding, I could take my time and fill out the forms (with my wife’s help) to make sure they were accurate. That way my coworkers would have no idea how oblivious I am to adult stuff like that. Win, win. Also, the self-onboarding process begins with an email that tells you exactly where to go (and at what time to arrive) on your first day.

3. It introduced me to my team. At the end of my self-onboarding, I got to see my whole team, complete with names, titles and pictures. This way I knew a little about the people I’d be working with every day. After a little social-media stalking, I knew exactly who they were (wait — is that creepy?), and I felt totally comfortable and prepared to work alongside them. Hopefully after reading this paragraph, they’ll still feel comfortable working with me.

4. It gave me confidence in my employers. Because my self-onboarding went so well, and my employers came across so organized, I couldn’t help but be impressed. What’s more, I felt confident in them. To paraphrase Ms. Gump: professional is as professional does. And since I was convinced BambooHR was the epitome of professionalism, I knew I must have made the right decision to join them. I felt a sense of loyalty to them before they even paid me! Go figure, right? The cherry on top was that my wife was equally confident in my decision to join BambooHR. Happy wife, happy life!

5. It provided instant connections. As part of the self-onboarding, I filled out some personal information to introduce myself to my new coworkers—hobbies, hometown and favorite candy. One of the details I divulged was that I am a fan of Tottenham Hotspur, a soccer team from the English Premier League. Since BambooHR sends an email to introduce their new hires to every employee, other soccer fans were able to reach out to me right away, forming an instant personal connection. Even if some of my coworkers clearly root for the wrong teams, it’s great to have other soccer fans to chat (or talk trash) with.

First days on the job don’t have to be painful. In fact, they should be a positive experience that gives every new hire a sense of excitement and a chance to develop company loyalty. Offering an effective self-onboarding plan is a great way to make that happen.

To learn more about our Self-Onboarding check out this video:

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Bryson Kearl

Bryson Kearl is an HR content creator at BambooHR. His role enables him to study HR's impact on organizations, and he is a diehard believer in the vital role HR plays in building company culture to achieve overarching business objectives.