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Meeting Tips

How to Onboard New Employees (Day 1 Agenda)

Published
March 20, 2024
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7
Min Read
Last updated
March 20, 2024
Arianna Rulli
How to Onboard New Employees (Day 1 Agenda)
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Prepare the room for the meeting, set up training for the newcomer, remember to get them logged into different tools and devices, remember all the rules to tell them...

Oh wait, what was the order?

Putting together an onboarding agenda can feel overwhelming at first, especially if you know you won't get everything done in just one sitting.

You need to show the newcomer around the entire company, introduce them to colleagues, spaces, and various protocols.

To avoid confusion about what needs to be done in which order, we'll tell you all you need to know about the first day.

Also keep in mind that the length and structure of onboarding is different for each company based on their size and context. What some other company might teach their new employee in two hours might take another company two days, weeks, or months.

What Does Onboarding a New Employee Mean?

Onboarding means briefing a new employee on everything essential about the company.

This includes showing the company culture, the team they'll be part of, their precise duties, and the tools they'll employ.

Think of the first day at school, but for a job.

Why It Is Important

Onboarding lays the foundation for a new employee's experience at a company.

It helps in several key ways:

  1. Welcomes and Integrates: It gives new employees a warm welcome, making them feel valued and part of the team from day one.
  2. Clarifies Roles and Expectations: It provides clear information about the new person's role, responsibilities, and what the company expects from them, setting them up for success.
  3. Enhances Employee Loyalty: A positive introduction to the company through effective onboarding can greatly enhance an employee's contentment and loyalty to the organization. They'll also have a good grasp of the company's values and standards from the start, making it easier for them to meet expectations.
  4. Boosts Productivity: By familiarizing new hires with the tools, processes, and resources they need, onboarding meetings can speed up the time it takes for them to become productive members of the team.
  5. Encourages Open Communication: It creates an opportunity for new hires to ask questions and provide feedback, establishing open lines of communication with their team and managers.

How to Plan and Run the First Onboarding Day

There are several things to keep in mind for the whole onboarding process. However, there are no strict rules: the timing and order of teaching new information can be adapted to your specific context.

In this blog, we've created an agenda for the first day, which revolves around giving a general overview of the company. The first day does not focus on specific IT configurations and role-specific training yet.

Who Leads the First Onboarding Meetings?

This can vary based on several factors, including the size of the organization, the level of the position, and the company's structure.

If the meetings are designed to introduce new employees to the company’s policies, benefits and culture, an HR representative or someone specializing in onboarding new employees is typically the one to run them.

In smaller companies or startups, a high-level executive or even the company’s founder might conduct the onboarding meeting to welcome new employees personally.

Below, we'll delve into 7 steps you need to remember for your first day of onboarding.

(1) Meeting Setup

Setting up a meeting involves more than just the physical space. It's about creating an environment that's welcoming and conducive to learning.

This can include:

  • Ensuring the room is comfortable
  • Arranging seating to encourage interaction
  • Testing all technical equipment ahead of time to avoid any hitches
  • Laying out refreshments to make the space more inviting
  • Scheduling breaks to prevent information overload and keep the new hire engaged

At this point, the company should prepare appropriate onboarding materials and gather detailed information about the new employee's position, specific responsibilities, and the department's administrative chart.

(2) Greetings and Opening

Begin the meeting by introducing yourself and providing a brief overview of any team members who are also in attendance. It's important to create a welcoming atmosphere right from the start.

Following the introductions, offer a concise summary of the meeting's or day's objectives, outlining all the activities and topics that will be covered throughout the day.

This approach ensures that everyone is equally informed about the day's agenda, setting a clear and organized tone for the onboarding.

(3) Introduction to the Company and Its Values

Provide a thorough introduction to the company, focusing on:

  • Detailing the mission statement
  • Highlighting the company's distinctive workplace culture
  • Stressing the core values the company upholds

Incorporate tangible examples and anecdotes to show how the company's values manifest in its operations and decision-making processes.

For example, a company that values customer satisfaction might have resolved a major problem for an important client quickly and sent a personalized gift as an apology. This would be a good story to share.

(4) Job Description Summary

Provide a clear explanation of the new employee's exact job position, duties, and their position within the department and broader company structure.

Highlight opportunities for growth and development within the role, which can motivate the new hire and give them a sense of their potential impact.

During the explanation, it would also be advisable to:

  • Delve into more than just the basic duties and discuss how the role contributes to the broader company objectives
  • Establish methods for assessing their performance
  • Clarify any trial periods and their implications for job security

(5) Guidelines and Protocols

This section includes the dos and don'ts of the company, underscoring how important these rules are for fostering a constructive and positive workplace culture.

Additionally, it includes:

  • Key company regulations
  • Workplace etiquette
  • Human Resources protocols
  • Detailed explanations of policies on vacation and sick leave

To explain more intricate policies, you should offer examples and hypothetical situations that illustrate these rules in action, ensuring clarity and comprehension.

(6) Q&A and Feedback Session

At some point during the first day it's important to set aside time to listen to the new hire's questions and opinions.

In this segment, the company should:

  • Encourage open dialogue to ensure the new hire feels comfortable asking anything
  • Be ready to offer thoughtful and informative responses
  • Provide any extra information to the new hire about their new role

(7) Conclusion and Summary

At the end of the day the company should:

  • Summarize all the key information discussed during the day
  • Remind the new employee of the next steps and upcoming meetings

End the day with words of encouragement and express gratitude to the newcomer (and possible other participants in the onboarding process).

Now, you might worry: will the new hire drown in all the new information and forget most of it?

What if they forget something you said that can't easily be found in company documents or tools?

This is where notetaking comes in.

But the problem with notetaking is: the person providing the onboarding and the new hire would get distracted if they had to write while having a discussion. Someone else would have to spend their resources on that.

However, there is a better option.

Wudpecker's AI meeting summary tool will automate notetaking for you. You can go back to the automatically generated meeting notes and transcript at any time, if you forget anything crucial.

Remember the Bigger Picture

The onboarding process, as mentioned earlier, is not just about a few initial meetings with the new hire but can actually last for months, depending on the nature of the job for which they were hired.

Therefore, to ensure a well-defined and structured journey, the company must provide a clear roadmap for the first few weeks or months, including any meetings or evaluations.

The company should also offer guidance on how the new hire can start to effectively integrate into their role and who they can turn to for support.

Onboarding Day 1 Agenda

Feel free to use this agenda sample for your onboarding. Take into account that based on your situation, you might want to cram all of these agenda items into one shorter meeting or spread them out even more.

Take inspiration form this template but don't feel pressured to follow the same exact timelines.

Meetings During the Onboarding Process After Day 1

Timeline for the onboarding process, visualizing what happens in Week 1 and later in the year.
An example of the timeline of different meetings during the onboarding of new employees

(1) Team Introduction Meeting

The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the new hire to the rest of the team.

It is important to choose a setting that will make everyone feel comfortable, such as a team lunch or an activity that everyone can do together.

This meeting will help integrate the new hire into the group.

(2) IT Configuration and Instructions

To ensure the new employee hits the ground running, provide essential resources like a company laptop, ID badge, and phone.

Additionally, equip them with the software and online tools needed for their role. This also includes data security and privacy protocols to ensure responsible use.

To maximize their confidence and productivity, offer ongoing tech support and encourage questions to create a supportive environment where new hires can quickly become valuable contributors.

(3) Workplace Walkthroughs

Elevate the workplace tour beyond just navigating the space. Introduce the new hire to team members you encounter along the way, fostering connections from the start.

Showcase the communal areas, like collaboration spaces, explaining their purpose and encouraging their use to promote teamwork.

Of course, include key locations like restrooms, supply closets, break areas, and emergency exits for their reference.

(4) Role-Specific Training Meetings

The company should equip the new employee with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the role.

The training programs combine self-paced learning, interactive workshops, and mentoring opportunities to support professional development and success.

The new member will receive a detailed schedule outlining each session, allowing you to plan accordingly.

(5) One-on-One with Mentor

To ensure a smooth transition and ongoing success, the new employee will be paired with a dedicated mentor or buddy.

This one-on-one meeting provides a safe space to discuss your goals, ask questions, and address any concerns you might have.

The mentor can offer valuable guidance and support to help you navigate your new role and beyond.

(6) Feedback and Evaluation Meeting

This type of meeting can be held every so often, as decided by the company. The frequency also varies depending on the size of the company.

Generally, the first feedback may be requested after the first month of work and then every 3-6 months.

The feedback and evaluation meeting provides a two-way dialogue, typically led by the direct manager or mentor. It focuses on discussing the new employee's progress and identifying areas for continued development.

Conclusion

The onboarding meeting agenda is a critical journey that helps new hires assimilate to their new company.

Our blog focused on the first onboarding meeting, providing a step-by-step guide to cover some of the most important topics that new hires need to know.

Additional information will be provided to the new hire during other onboarding meetings, such as the team introduction meeting, the one-on-one meeting with a mentor, and so on.

Now it's your turn to put our valuable advice into practice and welcome your new hires with open arms!

FAQs

What Do You Talk About in an Onboarding Meeting?

In the first onboarding meeting, discussions typically cover a broad range of topics essential for integrating a new employee into the company.

These topics include:

  • Company and Its Values: Brief history, mission, vision, core values core of the company.
  • Job Description: Detailed discussion about the job description, responsibilities, and expectations.
  • Guidelines and Protocols: Overview of important company policies, including HR policies, security guidelines, and ethical conduct.
  • Q&A and Feedback Session: An open forum for the new employee to ask questions and seek clarifications.
  • Following Steps: Immediate next steps, including any upcoming meetings, training sessions, or tasks to be completed.

What Are the 4 Phases of Onboarding?

The four phases of onboarding are designed to integrate new hires effectively into the company culture and prepare them for success in their new roles:

  1. Preparation: Before the new hire's first day, set up their workspace, prepare training materials, and outline the onboarding agenda.
  2. Orientation: Introduce new hires to the company's mission, values, and team members through orientation sessions. This includes an office tour, overview of policies and procedures.
  3. Integration: Focus on integrating the new employee into their team by clarifying job expectations, providing role-specific training, and facilitating social integration with coworkers.
  4. Transformation: This phase involves setting performance goals, offering development opportunities, and maintaining open communication for feedback.

What Are the 5 C’s of Onboarding?

Here’s how to incorporate the 5 C's into your onboarding process, tailored to create a productive and welcoming environment for every new employee.

  1. Company Culture and History: Begin your onboarding meeting by immersing new hires in the company's culture and history.
  2. Clarity of Role: The onboarding process includes clear communication about the new employee's role within the team and the wider organization.
  3. Connections with Team: Building connections is necessary for integrating new hires into existing teams. Onboarding meetings should facilitate interactions between new employees and their co-workers.
  4. Comprehension of Policies and Procedures: An effective onboarding agenda includes essential training on key policies and procedures, like navigating the employee handbook, setting up Google Calendar, and creating interactive presentations.
  5. Continued Development and Feedback: A great onboarding process includes ongoing development opportunities and regular check-ins to gather feedback and offer support.
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First Onboarding Day Agenda Template

Date: [Insert Date]
Time: [Insert Start Time]
Location: [Insert Location or Virtual Meeting Link]
Duration: All day

MORNING

1. Greetings and Opening

  • Welcome and brief introductions
  • Overview of meeting objectives

2. Introduction on the Company and Its Values

  • Overview of the company's culture, mission and core values
  • Real-world examples of these principles in action

NOON

3. Job Description Summary

  • Detailed explanation of the new employee's role and responsibilities
  • Outline performance evaluation methods

4. Guidelines and Protocols

  • Highlight essential company guidelines and policies
  • Clarify complex policies with examples

AFTERNOON

5. Q&A and Feedback Session

  • Allocate time at the end to ask questions and share opinions
  • Ensure readiness to provide thoughtful answers and additional information

6.Conclusion and Summary

  • Summarize all the key information
  • Remind everyone of the next steps
How to Onboard New Employees (Day 1 Agenda)
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How to Onboard New Employees (Day 1 Agenda)
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