15 Doable New Hire Orientation Ideas for Managers

Research shows that onboarding may be the most critical time in an employee’s experience at a company. While there are many things managers need to know about onboarding, the bottom line is this.

An employee's onboarding experience will not only shape his or her understanding of your organization and culture, it will solidify your new hire’s long-term success. And as a manager, you play a fundamental role in your new hire’s orientation experience.


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There are a slew of new hire orientation ideas you could implement to help your new hire feel welcomed, some more realistic than others.

For a list of 15 doable new hire orientation ideas, read on:

1. Give him or her a late start.


We all know how overwhelming the first day on the job can be. Help your new hire ease the first-day nerves and institute a 10 am start.

2. Arrange a team lunch.


While it may be a no-brainer, we don’t want this to go overlooked. Make a reservation somewhere on your new hire’s first day and meet with the team over lunch. A more casual environment will take the pressure off of getting to know new team members.

3. Write your new hire a letter.


In this day and age, it’s easy for us to forget the sentimental value of writing a letter. Take some time to write a genuine letter about how excited you are to welcome your new hire.

4. Set clear expectations.


Set the standard from the start. Be clear about what you expect from your employee. In return, ask for transparency about things like aspirations, goals, and more.

5. Ask for onboarding feedback early.


Whether you’re sending out a new-hire survey or kicking off a feedback cycle, asking for onboarding feedback early is a terrific way to make your new hire’s voice feel heard. It’s also an opportunity to be proactive in improving your new hire process.

6. Send a qwirky email.


A simple email to your organization’s email list serve ensures everyone knows about your new hire’s entrance. Have your new hire provide a cyber intro and include background, hobbies, fun facts, and more.

7. Deck out his or her desk.


This is our favorite new hire orientation idea! Decorating your new hire’s desk is a fun way to show your new hire how prepared you are. Bring on the streamers, balloons, and anything else that will make the first day feel like a party.

8. Provide company swag.


Tap into your marketing team’s storage closet, and you’ll likely find company t-shirts, bags, and other company swag that you can gift your new hire. The sooner you can get him or her reppin’ your company, the better!

9. Organize a happy hour.


Chances are, not many will say no to a happy hour! Taking your new hire out (and inviting the team to come along) is a fun, relaxed way to end a first day. Use the change in environment to casually assess how the first day went.

10. Find out favorites.


This is a simple way to deepen your relationship with your new hire. What’s his or her favorite movie? Music? Candy? Restaurant? Remember these to reward a job well done or make a bad day better.

11. Troubleshoot the tech.


Create a “technology cheat sheet” to help your new hire understand all the software used at your organization. Don’t forget to include simple directions and login info.

12. Get his or her name right.


This orientation idea is straightforward. Nobody likes to be called by the wrong name. Make sure you know how it’s spelled, pronounced, and if the employee would rather go by something else. It’s a simple, but important, thing to remember.

13. Extend the welcome beyond your new hire.


Take a couple extra minutes to write a welcome note or letter to your new hire’s family. A new job affects your new hire’s life in many ways, and a note to the family shows that you recognize that.

14. Organize a new hire club.


Team up with other managers in your organization and set the stage for a “new hire club.” Arrange a time and place for new hires to meet and share insights, challenges, and solutions among each other.

15. Reveal the unwritten rules.


As a manager, you have valuable insight into unwritten rules and behaviors among employees. These can be hard to pick up as a new hire, so be sure to share these.



These 15 orientation ideas are awesome, but they're certainly not enough to cover all your bases. Don’t let the opportunity to make a memorable, positive impression on your new hire slip away. If you’re looking for more new hire orientation ideas, download our 50 Creative New Hire Orientations Ideas ebook.

50 new hire ideas!

Published May 30, 2018 | Written By Jocelyn Stange