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The First 15 Minutes

April 20, 2023

Reap the benefits of reduced turnover, increased engagement, and saved costs by learning how to make the best first impression.

Written by Jim Roy, CEO




The first 15 minutes on the job are the most important minutes of an employee’s career with your organization. Create an experience they won’t forget!


Warm Welcome

Rollout the Welcome Mat


Ensure someone is waiting at the front door to greet your new team member. This will make them feel welcome from the second they get to work on their first day! Have the greeter then show the new employee around the space, such as where to get coffee, put their lunch in the fridge, and how to find the bathroom.

Help the team know your new team member is starting by sending out a notice to the organization about the new hire, along with their bio, so team members are on the lookout for them and already know a few fun facts as conversation starters. If possible, put a welcome message on a screen or sign to really make them feel like a VIP.


Company Swag

Part of the Team


Don’t underestimate the impact of providing your new employee with company branded swag. T-shirts, water bottles, coffee cups, pens, and notepads go a long way! Don’t forget to get their preferred t-shirt size in their hiring process!

Additionally, gift cards to nearby coffee shops and restaurants will also help your new team member get acquainted with the area. Have these items nicely displayed at their workstation waiting for them, or you can ship these items to their house in advance as a welcome package so they feel like a part of the team before their first day begins.


Work Station Setup

Ready To Go Right Away


Being able to effectively start working on day one with the proper set up at their work station is imperative to jumpstart a successful career for your new hire. Any technology should be set up, plugged in, and ready for log in. This can include their laptop, desktop, and cell phone. Having all technology items pre-loaded with each of the programs necessary for them to do their job will enable them to be effective and start training right away. Their credentials should also be readily available with any shared passwords easily accessible.

A well set up work station also includes all necessary supplies for the new hire to effectively do the job they were hired for. This may include regular office supplies, safety equipment, and any other required items. New hires should not have to hunt for the items needed to start work!


Leadership Exposure

Opportunities Await


If possible, a short meeting with someone from leadership or simply having a manager, director, or executive stop by to say hello to your new hire will make them feel like a well appreciated new member of the team.

Leadership exposure helps create a sense of belonging for the new hire, knowing that those leading the organization are invested in all team members and know who they are. This humanizes the team structure and makes the new hire know they are a valued member of the team and that their work is important to the organization as a whole.


Work Buddy

A “Go To” For the Ins And Outs


Assigning a well-seasoned member of the team to be a “work buddy” to the new hire will help ease the worries and stresses that come with the first day on the job. This designated work buddy will be the new hire’s go-to for not only work related questions but also the spoken and unspoken ins and outs of the organization. Nobody wants to miss the monthly “unofficial” happy hour or find out for themselves that the copy machine only prints in black and white.

The work buddy is responsible for basic training with the new hire, such as how to submit time-off and sick-leave requests, setting up their email signature, and how to order business cards, as applicable. The work buddy should also introduce the new hire to the rest of the team, and, if possible, organize a team lunch, coffee run, or happy hour.


First Week Plan

What to Expect After The First 15


After the first 15 minutes, ensure the new hire knows what to expect for the rest of their first week. This plan can be formatted in the learning management system, provided digitally, or printed as a hard copy. The plan should include what the new hire will be doing, who they will be working with, what they will be learning, as well as any meetings they need to attend or add to their calendar.

In addition, laying out attainable objectives and goals for the new hire to strive for during their first week will help them find early success, while removing the possibility of unmet expectations for both the organization and the new hire.


The First 15 Sample Schedule

Minutes 0 – 1

Greeting at Door

Minutes 2 – 6

Tour of Space
Work Buddy Introduction

Minutes 7 – 10

Shown Workspace
Receives Swag (if not shipped ahead of time)

Minutes 11 – 15

Leadership Introduction
Week 1 Overview Provided


How the first 15 minutes flow for a new hire will vary from hire to hire, position to position, and organization to organization. This is just one example!

You may notice how jam packed it is, even if it runs longer than 15 minutes, these steps will show your new hire you were excited about their arrival and they will automatically feel like a member of the team.

Beyond the first 15

The next weeks, months, & Beyond

After a successful first 15 and first week of training and onboarding, create regularly scheduled touchpoints with your new employee. While official one-on-ones have their place, yearly reviews are long dead.

Check-ins do not always need to be formalized but instead can be casual and over lunch, by the coffee maker, or on your way to your cars at the end of the work day. Once you are in a groove of the quick check-ins, dig deeper with your questions.

Check In Questions

  • How are you feeling?
  • Do you see how your position fits into the larger picture?
  • What surprises you about the organization so far?
  • Who are you building connections with? Who has been helpful to you?

Deeper Questions

  • What is your preferred feedback style?
  • In what ways would you like to receive praise?
  • What could I, as a manager/team member/leader, do better?
  • How do you want to provide feedback upwards?

New hires should leave their first day with a smile on their face telling their family that YOUR organization is different from any other place they worked!

Get Started Today

Let Percipio Workforce Solutions help reshape your company culture for finding, onboarding, and retaining the talent you need to drive profitability.


Behind the First 15

Jim Roy


Jim has 25 years of experience in the fields of staffing, recruiting, and human resources. After touring over 2,100 manufacturing and warehouse facilities in his career, Jim has developed workforce best practices that can be utilized to improve retention and reduce turnover.

The staffing industry allowed Jim to learn many lessons in business, ranging from staff management to recruiting techniques and a healthy dose of acquisition activity. Jim earned his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and is the proud father of three girls.

“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.”

*Property of Percipio Workforce Solutions LLC – This document and the information in it are provided in confidence for the sole purpose of education between the disclosing party and the receiving party, and may not be disclosed to any third party or used for any other purpose without the express written permission of the disclosing party.

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