Craft the perfect new employee welcome packet with these 10 essential items to ensure a smooth onboarding process and make newcomers feel valued.
I'm sure you've heard it’s cheaper to keep an existing employee than hire a new one? Well, it is. The best way to keep your new hires and get them up to speed quickly is with a comprehensive new employee welcome packet.
According to a study by SHRM, employers will need to spend the equivalent of six to nine months of their salary to find and train their replacements. Meaning, that a former employee with a $60,000 salary will cost your company about $30,000 to $45,000 to hire and train a replacement before paying this $60,000 salary to this new employee.
What is a new employee welcome packet?
A welcome package for employees, also called an onboarding kit, is a collection of materials provided to new hires. It includes a welcome letter, employee handbook, company policies, benefits information, forms, and sometimes company merchandise. The package introduces new employees to the organization, its culture, and important resources.
Here are a few common benefits for organizations that implement a welcome packet for new employees:
- Saves company time and money
- Improves new hire satisfaction
- Reduces employee turnover
- Increase new hire ramp-up speed
- Provides context to job expectations and goals
- Answers their common questions
- Demonstrates organizational efficiency
New employee welcome packet contents
So now that you know some of the benefits of a welcome packet for new employees, what should go into creating one? How do you determine what’s vital and what’s not? There is a fine line between informing a new hire and overwhelming them.
Here are the core components that should be included in a new employee welcome packet:
- Copy of new hire email or press release
- CEO welcome letter
- Paperwork and forms
- Culture and strategy
- Management and team structure
- Employee handbook
- On-going training
- Personal information worksheet
- Pre-onboarding survey
1. Copy of new hire email or press release
All employees want to feel appreciated and welcomed, especially new hires. Make a copy of the new hire email or press release you have sent out about this new employee. This will make the new hire feel like part of the company from day one and will inform the company and/or the general public about their new position.
At Continu, we post all of our new hire press releases on LinkedIn to showcase our hiring efforts and career opportunities.
2. CEO welcome letter
You will want to introduce your company and welcome aboard this new team member. This is a great tool to communicate your culture, what employees like about working for your company, and what the company’s short and long-term goals are. The format should match your overall company tone.
For example, if you are using a learning management system, you could create a welcome letter within your learning content. This serves a double purpose: one welcomes them to the company and the other introduces them to your training and educational tools.
3. Paperwork and forms
No one likes filling out a bunch of papers on their first day, but unfortunately, a new hire must complete this process. Within welcome packages for new employees should be these necessary onboarding documents. Everything from benefit to tax to compensation to emergency contact forms should be included. To save time and less of a headache, consider making all or as many as you can available online via your learning management system.
4. Culture and strategy
It’s hard for a new hire to get a sense of what the company culture is like. Some options are a copy of your annual report, the latest employee newsletter, or even a video showing some employees on the job. No matter what department this new hire is in, they’ll want a sense of where they fit in and how their job helps the company overall.
5. Management and team structure
Depending on a new hire’s job, they may interact with several departments on a daily basis. A simple company structure chart with photos and titles of management is helpful. It may also be nice to include the various departments and employees in each department with contact information. And if you're an enterprise company, where each department is located within the building. If you also employ contractors or freelancers, don’t forget to include these individuals and time zones if they are in different parts of the country or world.
6. Employee handbook
A copy of your company’s employee handbook should also be included. This can hold all of your organization's policies, legal information, board members, staff, beliefs, and much more. An employee handbook is a great reference that new hires can turn to for company information.
Within this technology portion of the new employee welcome packet should be information about the company policy. Things as what websites are allowed to be accessed during work, if there is a corporate intranet and how the employees access it, and where other important documents can be found.
Along with Internet policies, let this new hire know their new email address, phone number, and any logins they will need to access files and/or documents. There should also be information as to what technology this new hire will receive such as a laptop or company cell phone. And also, what the policy is for taking any company property home or for business travel.
8. Ongoing training
Within your new employee welcome packet, you have already shown this new hire your LMS. But it’s important to emphasize that this person will receive ongoing training throughout their tenure.
In order to keep employees longer, you need to add value to their careers. Giving them plenty of opportunities for training and development is a great way to do this. Build some pre-onboarding time in to showcase everything contained within your learning management system. Make sure to point out all the ways this new hire can learn and grow.
9. Personal information worksheet
You want to get to know this new hire as more than a team member. In order to make them feel welcome, ask them to fill out a brief questionnaire about themselves.
- What are their hobbies?
- Did they take a memorable trip?
- Are there any favorite foods they like to eat?
Once you have gathered this information, use it as an icebreaker with their team or in an email introducing this new person to their new department.
10. Pre-onboarding survey
How was this new hire’s experience on their first day? Did you answer all their questions? Did they leave this orientation day feeling confident in their new role?
You want to allow this new hire to critique you on how your organization onboards employees. A quick online survey from your LMS is a great way to gather this onboarding feedback.
Not only will you make this new hire feel they already have a voice, but you may get some great feedback that enhances your future pre-onboarding process.
Optional components of a new hire welcome kit
You've included the key items in your welcome packages for new employees, but how do you take it up a notch? There are some fun and unique onboarding content to consider that will really set you apart from the competition. Here are a few optional onboarding kit items you can add in:
Personalized/company swag - a great way to make the new hire feel welcomed is by giving them a personalized gift. Consider something with their name on it that is also useful on the job. Could be anything physical or even digital such as:
- Laptop sticker
- Coffee mugs or tumblers
- T-shirts, hoodies, socks
- Unique company screensaver
Basically, anything that is branded for the company while also being customized for the new hire. And it doesn’t hurt for some free advertising if they use this product outside the office!
Motivation products - employees can use a few words of wisdom from time to time, consider providing them with industry reads, links to influencers, or webinars. Whatever it may be, including this in a new employee welcome packet gives this new hire an added learning bonus.
Work calendar - another optional branded item can be providing a wall, desktop, or even online calendar personalized for your company. You could include events like birthdays and work anniversaries. This will give a new hire insight as to other team member milestones. A simple, “have a happy birthday,” goes a long way to building new co-worker bonds.
Provide a mentor or onboarding buddy - this may not work with more senior new hires, but matching employees with an established team member build an instant bond. It allows a new employee the chance to ask questions and develop a great working relationship. It can also show where an employee can go within your organization the longer they stay.
Determining what to include in your new hire onboarding packet
How do you figure out what content should be included in your welcome kit for new employees? A simple way to start creating this packet is by asking yourself these simple questions:
- How do you want to convey your company culture to this new employee?
- What should this new employee know about your company?
- Does this new employee need to know certain information from day one?
- What will this new hire need on a daily basis to do their job effectively?
- How will you make this new hire feel welcome and want to stay?
- What training will you provide this employee?
Once you have these questions answered, it's time to talk components. Every company’s needs are different, but there are some general components that should be considered for any welcome packet. These pieces of information should serve as a reference guide for the employee onboarding process.
Put yourself in a new employee’s shoes. They just got the call that they landed the job. While they are excited to start a new career chapter, they are also nervous.
How do you put their concerns at ease before and on the first day on the job? It’s easy if you focus on pre-onboarding. Before this new employee steps foot in your office as an official employee, make sure they know what to expect on their first day. Send them an email answering the following pre-onboarding questions:
- What is the company dress code?
- Where should they park?
- When should they arrive and who should they ask for at the office?
- Who else will they be meeting?
And that's exactly what a new employee welcome packet can do.
Examples of new employee welcome packets
There are several great items to put into a new employee welcome packet. It’s one thing to talk about what to include and another thing to actually see it. The good news is there are some great new employee welcome packet examples.
Here are some creative and innovative welcome packets for inspiration:
1. Cactus - Ad Agency
The Cactus Ad Agency new employee welcome kit comes wrapped in a single cardboard container and includes a business card, welcome letter, employee handbook, branded pen, rule, and USB drive.
2. Ogilvy & Mather - PR Firm
Ogilvy & Mather's PR Firm welcome kit for new hires includes a company history and values book (a mandatory read for new hires), USB drive, branded journal, and a custom pencil. All of this comes neatly packaged in their signature red box.
3. TAP Portugal - Airline
The airline TAP Portugal has a fantastic example of a new employee welcome packet. It's packaged within a silver, metallic, branded case that includes a welcome letter from the company president, a notebook, lanyard, pencil, and pen.
They added a clever little twist for wording by calling their packet "Welcome aboard!" which serves to both welcome new employees and greet airline passengers.
4. Percolate - Marketing Technology
This company takes a two-tiered approach to onboarding. Once a new hire accepts, they are sent a t-shirt, mug, some granola, a tote bag, Kindle, and a handwritten letter of congrats. On their first day, they receive stickers, notebooks, a mousepad, and more items in the branded company colors.
5. YourStudio - Interior Design
The kit includes a seedling in a personalized pot. Included in the package, is a link to a digital toolset with inspirational articles, goal tracking, and communication and contact details.
Put your spin on the new employee welcome packet
We’ve given you some details on the pre-onboarding process and why it’s important to create a great new hire experience. Hopefully, these details will inspire you to create your own unique new employee welcome packet.
Investing in a learning management system (LMS) is a great way to centralize the learning needs of new hires and beyond. If you still need assistance creating the technology portion of this onboarding process, Continu can help.