Onboarding Dictionary

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Day 1 email

During pre-boarding, you built and shared your new hire’s first-day schedule and curated a handful of resources for them to use throughout their first week.

At the beginning of their first day, it’s good to send an overview of those items as a quick reminder that they have them to reference. 

Below, we show you what sections to include in an effective day-one email and, of course, offer an example to paint a clear picture.


As we’ve mentioned before, your greeting sets the vibe of your email. And since this is the first official email your new hire will receive as an employee of your company, make sure to convey how excited you are to have them with you!

Communication platforms

In order for your new hire to chat with their teammates, the People team, and anyone else they want to get in touch with, they need to know your team’s primary communication platforms and how everyone uses them.

One of the cool things we do at Sora is have every new hire create an employee “User Guide”. This is a documented note (i.e. in Slab or a Google Doc) that tells everyone what our main communication preferences are and how each of us uses the available platforms - including our CEO.

For example:

While we sometimes stray from these, it’s always nice to have the User Guides to go back and reference to make sure we’re respecting everyone’s time. And they’re living documents, so teammates can always go in and make updates to their preferences if anything changes.

First day schedule

Before they started, you sent their first-day schedule in your “before your first day” email. It’s a good idea to send it again to their work email morning-of. Or have it waiting in their inbox when they log in on day one, if their email is already active.


During your new hire’s first day, they’ll have multiple breaks to explore your internal wiki and other resources to find the answers to any questions they might have. Include the links in this email, and encourage them to explore the resources during their free time.

Example email

“Hey [Preferred First Name]! Welcome to [Company Name]! And happy first day! We’re so excited to have you on board and can’t wait to see you in action. 

To help you have a great first day, I wanted to give you some visibility into the best way to communicate with the team, your schedule today, and some resources you can check out in your free time.

[Company Name], we primarily use Slack to communicate, and it’s usually our most urgent platform so expect a ping back almost immediately or, at the latest, in a few hours. Our next urgent communication platform is email, where you can expect a response back by EOD.

We have an exciting first day planned for you! You’ll be in student mode, soaking up a bunch of info about your team, our culture, and our mission.

Here’s your schedule: 

  • Welcome chat/breakfast: 9:00 AM
  • Get acquainted with tools: 10:00 AM
  • Chat with manager about team structure/strategy: 11:00 AM
  • Welcome lunch: 12:00 PM
  • Benefits/I-9 overview: 2:00 PM 
  • Break: 2:30 PM
  • High-level product and industry overview: 3:00 PM
  • Break: 4:00 PM
  • End of day check-in: 4:30 PM

In your schedule, you can see you’ll have multiple breaks throughout the day. Obviously, feel free to recharge during those breaks, but if you have any lingering questions about anything, here’s a link to our internal wiki so you can find answers!

Let me know if you have any questions at all! Have a great first day,
[Preferred First Name]!

[Manager’s preferred name]

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