While it may seem obvious that the best day of the week for a new employee to start is Monday, think about it. Why is Monday the best day, besides the fact that it is the first day of the week? Yes, it was initially determined by Human Resources that a Monday start date in organizations was the way to go, but that's just a leftover from the days when most HR issues were handled by finance. In those days, calculations for compensation, withholding amounts, accrued benefits, and so forth, was just more convenient for payroll. The convenience and ease factor may still exist, but only in the case of accounting.
What's Corporate Culture Like on Mondays?
Starting any employee on a Monday is not only an ill-thought-out decision, it most likely will set the new employee's commitment to your company in the wrong direction.
Here's why. Next Monday walk around your workplace and, if you are brave enough, listen to the comments of your staff about having to come back to work after two full days off. While you're listening to the comments of your employees, also listen to the remarks made by senior executives. It is not uncommon to hear even executives bemoan having to return to work on Monday.
Monday Mornings Are Busy
In most offices—whether it's an organization in the public sector or the private section—it's commonplace that the department-wide meeting is held on Monday morning each week. Not only will staff members be preoccupied with preparing for the meeting, but should the new hire be invited to the meeting, it can be potentially intimidating for a new employee.
On the flip side, if the new employee shows up to work and their manager is in the meeting and unavailable for them, the new employee feels left out. When you are trying to welcome new employees, these actions matter when employee retention starts during the interview process and continues from the first day on.
Why the Middle of the Week Works
Start any new hire on a Wednesday or Thursday. That's because the workplace is now past the anti-Monday orientation and close to the positive Friday aura. Just think for a moment about what we do to a newly-hired employee. We introduce them to all their co-workers knowing they will not remember their names, we make them go to HR and complete seemingly endless pages of forms, and then we ask them to sit down and get to work. It's overwhelming. People need to orientate themselves. They need to figure out where the water cooler is and how to use the coffeemaker.
Allowing employees to start mid-week (when there is a happier and more productive atmosphere) creates less pressure for them and more time to fit in and get acclimated.
From senior-level managers to the IT department to the new employee mentor, the fact is, organizations are never ready on Monday if that is the first day of the workweek.