A positive employee experience starts day one with your new hire's onboarding process.
Not only does a well-executed onboarding set the tone for your company culture and what a new employee can expect overall with their role, but it can positively impact their motivation for their first 90 days. In fact, a good first week can increase your new hire's performance by more than 20%. Over time, a well-executed onboarding process can lead to improved employee retention and engagement.
So since onboarding is a critical first step in increasing a new hire's performance and engagement, a great way to help them feel welcomed is through a new hire welcome kit.
Read on to see how you can utilize a welcome kit to create a thoughtful, comprehensive onboarding experience below.
Why send a new employee welcome kit?
It sounds straight forward but a welcome package gives a personal touch in starting a new hire's journey with your company.
It sets the tone for what this new team member can expect from your workplace and builds upon the excitement at starting a new job.
Especially now, with many teams working remote or hybrid due to the pandemic, a welcome kit gives a tangible, positive first impression for your company culture.
What to include in a new hire welcome kit?
A great example to check out is the Ogilvy & Mather induction box. With a goal to induct new hires and get them invested (and actually reading!) their mission book as they begin their new role, the team sought to make the experience tangible. Before anyone starts, new employees receive a red box containing items surrounding the 8 creative habits listed in the mission set by founder David Ogilvy.
Take a page out of their book and review your organization's core values, or ask yourself what you want to encourage for employees coming into their first day of work.
Who doesn't like to receive a surprise gift of goodies? Yes, even branded company swag like office supplies.
Just be sure that while you add branded coffee mugs or stickers to your own kits, that you balance the practicality with the fun.
To get you started, here are a few new hire welcome kit ideas as you build your own.
1. A Welcome Letter
Kick things off with a personal note. Details like adding a handwritten letter from the manager of the department or your CEO will help your new hire feel pumped to be part of the team. It also shows your professional and personal support as they begin their onboarding process.
2. An Employee Welcome Packet
Include some of the logistical information for your new hire's start date and where to report, any required forms they need to review prior to starting, or who their main point of contact would be before their first day.
If you're onboarding remotely, be sure to detail what access they'll need or communication apps they should download first thing.
Or if they're reporting to the office, give instructions for where to park or who to ask for when they show up.
3. Tasty Snacks
Giving your new hire a couple of delicious snacks is a great way to spice up your welcome kit. A few snacks will provide them a boost of energy during their orientation and the first couple of days of their new job. The care package experts at Caroo even curate welcome kits where you can swap in all sorts of delicious and nutritious snacks along with company swag, office supplies, and all sorts of welcome pack essentials. Take this 60-second quiz to start crafting your perfect welcome kit.
4. T-Shirts, Hoodies, and Attire
Branded merchandise is a fun way to build team culture and create your company identity, so it's no surprise that swag is also a way to immediately greet and induct your new hire onto your team. Items like shirts or hoodies are always fun and useful for any team-building days, either in-person or virtual.
On Cooleaf, you can personalize and build out your own team store of branded items from totes to tees. With the on-demand printing from our partners like Dreamship, you can create several designs without worrying about storing excess inventory. Through the Cooleaf platform, you can select the item and size, and it'll be printed and shipped directly to your new hire when you're ready.
5. Tech Accessories
While your company might provide larger items like laptops or extra monitors, consider adding smaller tech accessories or office supplies to your kit too. From headphones to mousepads, sometimes the most practical items are the most delightful. You can also toss in stickers of your company brand or fun pop culture stickers and give your team freedom to decorate their tech any way they like! And ones you wouldn't buy yourself but would love to be gifted.
With Cooleaf partners like Systemax, we provide on-demand branded tech items too, like noise cancelling headphones, charging stations, or mobile car holders, among other branded merchandise. You can also order in bulk if your marketing team would want to have those car chargers at-the-ready for events.
And don't forget to grant access or list out apps your new team member should download or have for their digital workspace.
6. Wellness Items
Wellness is a priority for many teams, from mental to physical well-being. While Cooleaf can help your team get moving with online activities and step challenges, consider gifting new hires with water bottles or yoga mats.
If your organization also provides benefits like gym rebates or discounts for health and wellness apps, make a special guide or even card to encourage employees to sign up when they start.
Download Cooleaf's free Employee Wellbeing checklist to get "wellness ready" for your new team members!
7. Employee Handbook
Your employees' first day is just part of a larger onboarding program. Be sure to include resources like your employee handbook, policy guidelines, or where an employee can go for certain questions or needs in your welcome kit.
Feel free to highlight key pages they should check out as they begin their new role too.
8. Team Culture Handbook
As a fun add on, include a culture guide about your team. Maybe your employees have favorite restaurants or coffee shops near the office. Or maybe you have unique traditions on for your MS Teams or Slack channels. For instance, do you have personalized emojis that they should know about? Is there a bring-your-dog to work day?
Adding fun facts or asking teammates to chime in too is a personalized way to get someone started and help them feel welcome right off the bat.
Looking for ways to enhance your team culture? Your Core Values are a great starting point! Establish values or re-align your team to existing values with our free guide!
9. Your Company's Social Media Handles
Don't miss out on asking your new employee to follow your organization's social media channels or blog. You can list these all out in your employee welcome packet.
Also be sure follow up with your new hire to welcome them onto your company LinkedIn profile too!
10. Team Member "User Guides"
A great way to make new team members feel included is giving them a more personal idea of who they're working with! Have team members write a short blurb about themselves and their communication style, then compile their statements into a welcome document and have new hires add their own blurbs during onboarding.
Consider "User Guides" like a sort of"get to you know you" cheat code for new team members! These guides will also serve as a great resource for team communication moving forward.
11. First Day Playlist!
Welcome your new team members onboard with a curated playlist of songs to get them through the first day! Create your playlist on Spotify, Apple Music, or Youtube and send it to new hires via email or Slack!
If you want a seamless way to share your first day playlist, post it directly to Cooleaf. You can ask which songs people enjoyed the most, which they enjoyed the least, and ask them to contribute a song of their own!
12. A Coffee Break, On You!
What better way to say welcome to the team than with a sweet, sweet caffeine break? Treat your new team members to a virtual or in-person coffee.
Send your new employees a gift card to a local coffee shop, if you're a distributed team, try to look into their local spot for a personalized touch.
Platforms like Cooleaf make it easy to send gift cards to your entire team at once by putting popular options like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Panera right at your fingertips!
Bonus: Feel Free to Send a Mini Welcome Gift Before They Start
Help new employees feel welcome before they even set foot into the office or sign into the company Slack. It doesn't have to be anything large, but something small with a personalized note is a thoughtful gesture and speaks volumes.
As a remote team ourselves, Cooleaf likes to get our new team members excited by sending a note and a Starbucks gift card before their first day. We like to say "Sip Sip Horray!" for joining us.
Want More Employee Welcome Kit Ideas?
You can make sending a welcome kit easier through the Cooleaf app. We partner with Telescope to create branded welcome kits which you can gift through the Cooleaf platform as you kick off your employee's experience.
Remember, employee engagement starts right when your new teammate joins your organization. so how will your organization make a first impression?
If you're looking for other ways to engage your new employees through their onboarding experience, from welcome kits or check-in surveys, let us know here! We're happy to chat!