How to Create an Amazing Employee Welcome Package
If a job interview is like a first date—with the employer and the job seeker getting to know each other and trying to make a good first impression—an employee’s first few days at a new company is the honeymoon period.
Unlike an actual honeymoon (hopefully, anyways), the first day or two of work can be awkward and uncomfortable for new employees. They don’t know their co-workers, and they know relatively little about their new employer, so they may at times feel insecure or even stupid. That’s why it behooves companies to make a fuss over newcomers in those first few days.
Why bother? Welcoming new employees shows them that you care, and it helps them get rid of their nervousness, which means they become productive sooner. If the welcoming process is part of your company’s culture, then current employees will treat newcomers well, because they were shown kindness when they joined the company.
So what should you do to welcome new employees?
Put a small gift on new employees’ desks each day during their first week. A Starbucks gift card on Monday, fresh flowers on Tuesday, an iTunes gift card on Wednesday, a cupcake from a local bakery on Thursday, and a coffee mug with your company’s name on it on Friday.
You just spent $40 and did something your employees will always remember. Chances are you also bought some loyalty. One company gives new employees Almond Joy candy bars with a note about how “overJOYed” they are that they joined the firm.
Too corny for you? Then give new employees a welcome-to-the-company letter and tell them in writing how happy you are that they accepted your offer and how excited you are to be starting a business relationship with them. Make it clear in the letter who they can go to if they have questions or comments, and give them some interesting tidbits about their supervisor and about a few of their co-workers. (eg. Ann, the human resources manager, once climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, and Bob, the company’s bookkeeper, is a descendant of Edgar Allan Poe.)
Give new employees a questionnaire to fill out that gives you information about them, such as their hobbies and their favorite movies, musicians and comfort foods. This will give the company ideas about how to reward them in the future for a job well done.
If they’re new to the area, give them a stack of menus to popular local restaurants and coffee shops, and a bunch of brochures for local museums, theaters and other attractions.
On their first day of work, have the people they’ll work closely with take them out to lunch so everyone can get to know each other better. Make sure the person who grabs the bill expenses the lunch, and makes sure the newcomer knows the company is buying. This is another opportunity to let the new employee know the company is doing something nice for them.
Businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars a year or more on new hires, with the hope that they will become valued employees who add to the company’s success. It pays to do a few little, inexpensive things to welcome them aboard.
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