A NSW Government website
Public Service Commission

The first week with a new employee

Considerations for HR and hiring managers to ensure a smooth start for new employees.

An employee’s first week is an opportunity to establish positive and productive relationships and introduce them to the organisation. Their experience during the first week can determine their sense of connection to the organisation and their intention to stay.

The guidance below will get you started on the right track. Your agency may have additional guidance to follow when onboarding a new employee.

Introduce the organisation

It’s important for someone who will work closely with the employee to meet them when they arrive on their first day. If working remotely, connect and speak with them online at an agreed time as an introduction.

Meet the team

Connecting the employee with their team helps them better understand the work that you do and creates a sense of belonging to the team and organisation.

Introducing the new employee to their buddy ensures they’re able to contact each other easily and the employee is supported in the early days.

Organisation chart

Discuss the organisation chart with the employee to provide background information and help them understand the structure and purpose of the organisation.

Meet a senior leader

Introducing the employee to a senior leader shows that the organisation cares about them as an individual. It gives the employee an opportunity to ask questions and better understand the organisation’s overarching purpose, mission, and goal.

Tour the workplace

A workplace tour is a valuable way to familiarise the employee with their workplace and the facilities they have access to. It’s a good idea to give the employee a map of the space, address workplace health and safety and confirm their security access.

Internal communication channels

Internal communication channels are a great tool to announce the arrival of your new employee, to help them to feel welcome and to encourage others to introduce themselves.

Hold manager conversations

Regular conversations between the employee and manager are vital to the employee’s engagement and job satisfaction. Use the first week to set expectations and discuss how frequently to hold future check ins to build a positive and productive relationship.  

Communication styles

Discussing the employee’s communication preferences and sharing your own can help identify best modes of communication. It demonstrates flexibility and a commitment to building a productive relationship with the employee.

Flexible working options

NSW Government is committed to making all roles in the public sector flexible based on the principle of ‘if not, why not’. Discuss your organisation’s flexible working policy and what flexible work options are available to the employee.

This is a good opportunity to talk to the employee about having a healthy work-life balance and what is expected of them in terms of working hours.

Organisational values and strategy

All employees in the NSW public sector are committed to upholding our values of integrity, trust, service and accountability. Address these values with the employee and what they mean to the employee’s role.

Discuss any strategic plans relevant to the employee, such as the organisational or branch plan, and how your new employee’s work impacts this.

Discuss employee benefits

Onboarding is an opportunity to speak positively about your organisation and make the employee aware of benefits, leave provisions, memberships, and learning and development opportunities.

Networks and employee resource groups

Let your employee know about the networks and employee resource groups they could join. This could include a community of practice, Institute of Public Administration Australia – IPAA NSW and employee groups specific to your organisation.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Many EAPs offer a range of support that employees may not initially be aware of. Discussing openly with your employee about your EAP and how to access it helps them feel supported to use it if they ever need to.

Checklist: the first week with a new employee

  • Arrange for someone appropriate to meet the new employee when they arrive on their first day
  • Organise relevant induction sessions or training through HR, ICT or similar
  • Introduce the employee to their buddy, their team and a senior leader
  • Provide a copy of the organisation chart and strategy
  • Hold manager conversations and discuss communication styles, meeting frequency, flexible work options and organisational culture and strategy
  • Tour the workplace, provide a map and confirm security access
  • Welcome the new employee on internal communication channel/s
  • Discuss employee benefits, including learning and development opportunities, policies, employee resource groups and your employee assistance program
  • Confirm with your employee that they’ve read and understood the NSW public sector values. 

Download the onboarding checklist