DaveMatthewsPosterThe two weeks before starting a new job can feel a little like the two weeks before starting college.

Okay, so maybe you’re not quite so busy curating your Dave Matthews poster collection, or promising eternal devotion to your summer fling, and there’s the whole getting paid versus paying thing. But! In the weeks leading up their first day, I’d venture to say both pre-frosh and new hires are feeling 1) psyched to be starting something new and 2) more than a little anxious. What’s it going to be like? Will I fit in? Is now really the right time to be experimenting with hair gel? That sort of thing.

Colleges and universities these days take great pains to make this transition period comfortable. Well in advance of kids arriving on campus, they send off packets of need-to-know information, financial forms to be signed, a detailed orientation road map. Maybe some school-spirit schwag. But while the majority of companies have similar protocol in place for welcoming new hires, according to the new ALEX onboarding survey, a surprising number could definitely up their game. Consider this:

Before their first day, nearly half (49.5%) of new hires say that their manager didn’t send a welcome message, 27% say they didn’t receive a first-day agenda, and 19% say no one reached out to them with benefits information before their first day.

Also, interesting, but not surprising for us here at ALEX, is that, of all the stuff new hires expected to be sent prior to day one, employee benefits information was #1.

Now, if you’ll allow me a little aside, being a new hire myself (hello, ALEX-world!), I’m not that far removed from that “what’s it gonna be like” limbo period. But–if you allow me to toot Jellyvision’s horn for a second–never have I felt more welcomed to a job as I was here. Not only did the good HR folks send me a slew of forms–including, yes, a benefits overview–and a first-two-week agenda to peruse the day after I accepted, later that week, they also mailed a care package (company t-shirt and water cup) to my house–and asked me to pick out a favorite book, which would be bought on my behalf, and put in the company library. It takes a little extra time and effort to do this kind of thing. But, boy, did it make this camper feel happy and eager to chip in.

photo credit: jvh33 via photopin cc

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