This round of pet peeves is focused on poor first day of work experiences (of course I was going to continue this tradition in 2018):

  • Who is starting:  This might be the absolute worst first impression a company can make – we don’t care enough about our employees that no one even knows you are starting today. There is absolutely no excuse for this.  The hiring manager should make sure the front desk, hr, really anyone that would have initial contact with a new hire should be aware that this individual is expected to arrive and what should happen next.
  • No desk, no computer, nada:  Unless you are starting within days of an offer, this shouldn’t happen.  However, the larger the organization the greater the chance of this occurring (procurement processes can be time consuming).  However, even if it does happen – find an alternative:  who could this person pair with for the first week?  which room can be setup to be a welcoming environment? Again, do whatever you need to to avoid the feeling that this person is a drain on everyone at the office.
  • Read this and this and this:  My worst first day of works were when I was handed document after document to read.  First, I can’t retain it all in that manner.  Second, I wanted to go to sleep before lunch.  Instead, plan interactions for the first day…who could this person pair with during the day?
  • No end of the day contact:  The first day of work with document after document only got worse when I realized that I hadn’t seen anyone since lunch.  Now it was 5 pm and no one seems to be around.  Do I just leave?  What’s the norm?  Will people think I’m punching a clock?  What if someone does come by after I leave?
  • Big team lunch:  I know how common this one is but even an extrovert like me doesn’t enjoy the first day big lunch.  I don’t know anyone.  There’s too many people to engage in quality conversations.  I feel like an outsider as I don’t have context to much of what is said.  I’m too busy trying to remember names/info to eat. At a minimum, plan additional smaller lunches during the week.

As much as these are pet peeves, they are mine and as a leader that doesn’t mean I get to simply judge others. Instead, these serve as opportunities for others and for me to grow. If this stuff was easy, I wouldn’t be sharing.

What are your first day of work pet peeves?

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick

Tricia Broderick is a leadership and organizational advisor. Her transformational leadership at all levels of an organization, ignites growth of leaders and high performing teams to deliver quality outcomes. Tricia has more than twenty years of experience in the software development industry. She is a highly-rated trainer, coach, facilitator and motivational keynote speaker. Beyond her extensive knowledge and skills, her biggest offering is inspiring people to believe anything is possible.


  • I can tell you something we’ve started doing that’s worked out and everyone seems happy with. We’ve made an Onboarding Trello(.com) board. The columns have names like, “Your first day”, “Your first week”, “People you should know”, etc. Then the cards are tasks for the employee to work through and flag as done. We make a copy of a “master” board for each employee which their supervisor also has access to and can check up on progress. The board doesn’t go away, so the employee can reference the information at any point in the future. You can do some innovative things, like each card for “people you should know” has that person’s picture as the background and a brief bio.

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