First Day Jitters: How to Create a Memorable First Day Experience for New-Hires


The first day of a new position can be both exciting and nerve-racking for a new employee. A new-hire’s first day sets the tone for not only the company’s structure and on-boarding process, but also sets the tone for how the employee feels about their new role and their place within the organization. Creating a positive first day environment reflects the culture the company hopes to convey and creates a supportive, collaborative environment for the employee to walk into. As Harlan Schafir states in his article, Employee Onboarding: Make the First Days Memorable – in a Good Way!, “The goal at any company should be that the new prospect will be so impressed and wowed his/her first day the he/she goes home and tells someone that that it was the ‘best first day ever.’” Schafir encourages the reader that the first day for a new-hire needs to reflect and fit in with the company culture.

At our office, we hope to provide a memorable, interactive first day that sets up our new employees for a successful tenure with the organization. While we will always provide the standard office tour, HR orientation, and review of the job functions, there are also some unique components we added to our first day schedule. Below are three simple gestures that we use to welcome new employees.

The Welcome Breakfast & Lunch

We cater breakfast the morning of the employee’s first day. It encourages all employees from the firm to come and introduce themselves, their role within the firm, and learn a little about our newest employee. It also gives the new employee an idea of who they can go to for questions, which employees are on their direct team, and where they fit into the company as a whole. Additionally, their direct manager will take them to lunch. Both of these instances are meant to create a more personalized relationship with the employee’s manager and the team around them.

The Rookie Cookies

As with the firm breakfast, this is meant as an ice-breaker. New staff members are asked to bring a batch of their favorite cookies, referred to as “rookie cookies.” Everyone within the firm is encouraged to stop by, take a cookie, and spend a moment introducing themselves. While this may seem small, it is a unique touch we enjoy having employees be a part of. We find less formal introductions to build a more comfortable environment for the employee on their first day.

The TPS Report

While not everyone appreciates a practical joke, we find this to be a fun way to welcome a new-hire. The TPS report consists of a memo given to the employee on their first day, which requires a series of tasks that ultimately result in a wild-goose chase. If the employee has seen the movie “Office Space” they are usually ahead of the game. One of the reasons we love this practical joke is that it is a reminder that we do not take ourselves too seriously. Being able to laugh with co-workers and managers on their first day builds camaraderie with their team and excitement for a work environment that has fun with what they do.

Ultimately, creating a memorable first day environment is the first step in building a firm foundation for a new employee’s starting point with the company. This foundation establishes a trust and respect for the way that things are done, and excitement for the direction in which things will go. It not only introduces the new-hire to the company culture, but also builds and sustains the company culture itself. Every employee should leave their first day feeling an excitement for the journey in which they are about to embark on in their new role. Making this investment in our employees will lead to long-term, loyal employees and a company culture that thrives.

The Culture Counts blog is a discussion of law firm culture and legal innovation, including topics such as effective leadership, employee engagement, workplace culture, ideal work environment, company core values, and workplace productivity.  

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About the Firm:

Klemchuk LLP is a litigation, intellectual property, transactional, and international business law firm dedicated to protecting innovation. The firm provides tailored legal solutions to industries including software, technology, retail, real estate, consumer goods, ecommerce, telecommunications, restaurant, energy, media, and professional services. The firm focuses on serving mid-market companies seeking long-term, value-added relationships with a law firm. Learn more about experiencing law practiced differently and our local counsel practice.

The firm publishes Intellectual Property Trends (latest developments in IP law), Conversations with Innovators (interviews with thought leaders), Leaders in Law (insights from law leaders), Culture Counts (thoughts on law firm culture and business), and Legal Insights (in-depth analysis of IP, litigation, and transactional law).