Congratulations! After job postings and interviews and vetting potential candidates, you’ve finally found the perfect fit to join your organization! You’re not just hiring an employee to do a set of tasks for your company, you’re welcoming them to the team where they’ll make meaningful contributions. On their first day, it’s not enough to have some paperwork to fill out and a work email address. It’s important for you and your new hire to start off on the right foot.
The Society for Human Resource Management did a study on the importance of a carefully curated onboarding program.
Not only does a warm welcome increase employee retention, but also productivity, so it’s worth spending time making sure your onboarding plan is well-thought out. Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re welcoming new employees:
Set up your new hire for success on day one with a new hire kit. This kit can include tangible and intangible items, as well as things that may be practical versus fun.
Make sure your new employee is informed of dress code, rules, PTO, etc with an employee handbook and other relevant paperwork. This might also include a benefits guide.
If you’re working with a remote employee, make sure to get their tech sent before their start date, and to the right address! You might want to include items such as a laptop, laptop bag, monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset, etc. For an employee working onsite, it’s helpful to have their technology set up so that they aren’t dealing with a mess of cords on Day 1.
You can curate a fun welcome box with employee swag. Not only will your new employee be excited with a gift, but you’ll also start them on the road to being a brand ambassador. Some potential kit items include a t-shirt, mousepad, coffee mug, water bottle, and more. You can also try out some more quirky items, like a dog collar or pool float! Whatever you choose, make sure it aligns with your brand and is a good fit with your employee population.
You can also create a fun activity out of branded gear. If you have an online company store, give your new employee “credit” to shop and pick out an item of their choice!
Branded items give your new hires a sense of belonging right away, and show that you value them and are excited to see all the great things they will do with the company.
People like to feel appreciated and valued. One of the most simple things you can do in onboarding a new hire is to send a welcome message!
Don’t just send a quick email - you can also send a handwritten note in the mail, or if you’re in the office, leave a note on their desk for the first day.
Send a personalized, individual email to the employee outlining why you’re excited, their strengths, and what stood out to you during the interview process. You should also copy them in a company wide email to the team. This way, you can let your new hire know that everyone in the company is grateful to have them join the team.
Whether your company works in person, remotely, or in a hybrid environment, human connection is an important aspect to welcoming a new employee. The first week is your last chance at impressing a new hire, so don’t fill the whole day with mundane paperwork. A good portion of this week should be set aside for bonding with the team.
Schedule meet-and-greets with leaders and key members of the team. If possible, plan a welcome lunch or maybe a happy hour to help your new hire feel more comfortable in and out of the office.
New hires should also be a part of key meetings early on, so they can feel involved and see how the team works together.
No one wants to be thrown into shark-infested waters! It’s critical to have a clear onboarding plan for new hires that is customized to the department. This could include:
Having an organized onboarding plan with important items helps set the tone for how your company functions.
The onboarding period will have an enormous impact on the new employee's experience of your organization, employee retention, and even productivity, so it’s worth your time to make sure you welcome new hires the right way!
Bonus tip: Ask your newest employees about their onboarding experience. What did they like? What would have been more helpful? What didn’t make sense? Take this feedback into consideration when onboarding new hires in the future.