Ninety percent of employees decide whether to remain with the company during the first six months of employment, and most employees decide in the first 30 days of employment whether they feel welcome, according to a report by Lominger Limited. The review of the literature also found attitudes toward the company form early and are unlikely to change, so starting employment with a positive, welcoming letter before the first day is important.
Compensation and Benefits
Confirm the employee's starting salary and benefits in the letter. If the employee needs to fill out forms -- such as health benefits enrollment and selection of a deferred compensation plan -- enclose a packet of information and paperwork for the employee to complete. This allows the employee to consider the documents on his own time, without feeling rushed, and also prevents too much time from being wasted with routine paperwork on the first few days of the job.
First Day Information
Provide plenty of information that will help the employee understand what to expect on the first day. The information should cover basic, necessary details such as parking, where and to whom to report, a schedule or brief outline of what will happen on the first day, items to bring -- such as work authorization forms and Social Security number -- and contact numbers in case the employee has questions. Provide a map and directions to the facility, noting the location of parking and any special provisions. For example, if the employee needs an ID card to get into the building, have her meet a company representative in the lobby who will walk the employee through security and take her to the first appointment of the day.
Supervisor or Mentor Contact Information
Provide the name, telephone and email address of the employee's supervisor. If the company assigns mentors or "buddies" for new employees, provide the contact details, name and job title for that person and explain the process. Ask the employee to contact the mentor or supervisor to schedule a time to talk on the phone before the employee's first day. This can reassure the employee and give him an initial connection with someone inside the organization so that not everyone is a complete stranger on day one.
Organizational Mission and Role
Provide information about the organization's mission and values, and how the employee's job fits into those overall expectations. This can be achieved by providing a packet of information such as the employee handbook, job description and any details about the services the organization provides -- for example, promotional or informational literature provided to customers. Giving the new employee a copy of the organizational chart and indicating where his position fits will familiarize the employee with the company structure.