If you’re wondering how to welcome a new employee, then you’ve probably already realized that employee onboarding really matters. But, just in case, let’s drive this point home with a few stats.
69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if their onboarding experience was great. Meanwhile, up to 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment. What’s more, nearly 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first six months of a job.
Pretty alarming stuff, right? Here’s what’s even scarier: Research from Gallup found that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their employers do an effective job with new hire onboarding. Yikes.
The onboarding period is undeniably delicate, and it all starts off with something seemingly simple: how you welcome your brand-new employee.
Let’s dig into everything you need to know including how to welcome a new employee with a new hire welcome kit and the perfect new employee announcement template. When done right, your onboarding procedures can keep new hires around for the long haul.
Employee success starts with a warm welcome
The onboarding period is a fragile time, and making a positive impression is critical for setting up your employees for success — and keeping them around for the long haul.
In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a well-structured onboarding process can increase employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. That’s an investment worth making.
Staging an enthusiastic welcome is the best place to start. Use this as your guide, and you’ll make all of your new hires feel valued and supported, even before they arrive on their first day. But it's not just about the first impression. A successful onboarding process extends beyond the employee's first day, week, or month. It's about continuous support, learning, and engagement.
Consider implementing a structured follow-up process where managers or HR personnel check in with new hires at regular intervals. This could be weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on your company's needs. These check-ins can help address any issues or questions that may arise, and ensure that new employees are settling in well.
Also, encourage feedback from new hires about their onboarding experience. This can provide valuable insights that can help you refine and improve your process. There's always room for improvement, and the best insights often come from those who have recently experienced the process.
What do you include in your welcome message for a new employee?
Your onboarding period will start with a welcome letter to a new employee. This email will cover some nuts and bolts information and give them important details about their upcoming first day.
Don’t feel the need to cover everything (rest assured, there will be time for that later), and instead give them the information they need immediately:
- Confirm their job title and start date: Make sure you’re on the same page
- Provide instructions for arriving: Where to park, which entrance to use, and where they should go or who they should ask for when they arrive
- Spell out your dress code: What attire is appropriate
- Share a schedule: What they can expect on their first day (it’s nerve-wracking enough without going in blind)
If you’re virtually onboarding a remote employee make sure to include details of when their home office equipment (laptops, headsets etc.) and other welcome packages can be expected. Your welcome message might even include details for a virtual meet-and-greet with their new team.
In this message, you should also demonstrate some enthusiasm and reaffirm that you’re excited for them to join your team. There’s a lot of logistical information to cover, but that doesn’t mean the tone of your entire welcome letter needs to be dry.
Who sends a welcome letter to a new employee?
It depends. In some cases, your HR team will send a standardized welcome letter to employees who are coming aboard.
But typically, it’s nice to have the new hire’s direct supervisor send this email to forge a more personal connection right away.
The employee-manager relationship is crucial for engagement, and meaningful communication is a big part of that. So, even if the manager isn’t responsible for sending the core information, they should still plan to touch base ahead of when the employee starts.
When do you send a welcome letter to an employee?
Because this message contains important information for the employee’s first day, it should be sent well before their start date (sending it at 9:00 p.m. the night before they start doesn’t count).
Anywhere from three days to a week before their first day is enough time for them to process that information and ask any questions, but not so much time that they lose track of those details.
What should your welcome letter look like?
This message doesn’t need to be anything lengthy. In fact, it’s better to keep it focused and brief. Here’s an example welcome letter to a new employee you can use to inspire your own:
We’re so excited to welcome you as our Customer Success Manager here at CompanyXYZ! We know that you’ll make such a positive impact on how we serve our customers.
As a reminder, your start date is October 15. Please arrive by 8:30 a.m. and park in the west parking lot. You can enter through that west entrance and meet Kyle at the reception desk. He’ll walk you up to your desk.
As far as the dress code is concerned, I’m sure you noticed that we keep things casual here. Wear what you’re comfortable in, provided you’re clean and appropriately covered.
Here’s a tentative schedule for your first day:
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Office tour and all-team meeting
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: IT setup and walkthrough
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Team catered lunch
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: HR meeting and benefits enrollment
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Meeting with department heads and company overview
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Begin on-the-job training
If you have any questions before you start, send those to this email address. We’re happy to clear anything up!
Otherwise, we’ll see you on October 15. We’re so excited, and we hope you are too!
Building your new hire welcome kit: Ideas for what to include
You’ve sent the welcome message and your new hire arrives on their first day. Now what? Rather than having them sit down at an empty desk, set up a new hire welcome kit to get them started on the right foot.
You have room to be creative about what items you’d like to include in this kit, but here are a few things you don’t want to miss:
- Contact information: How to get in touch with important contacts (like their HR representative or your IT help desk)
- Department roster: They can start learning the names and roles of their team members, before being inundated with introductions
- Policies and procedures: From your employee handbook to instructions for how to request a vacation day
- Benefits packets and brochures: Information about your available benefits (including insurance and retirement accounts)
- Login instructions: Have your IT department set up your new employee’s phone, email address, and other logins ahead of time, and then provide them that information
- Cheat sheet: A fun document that shares lighthearted information like how to find the bathroom or where the extra coffee filters are
- Swag: Nothing says “welcome” like a branded t-shirt or coffee mug
Set this up on your employee’s desk before they arrive. That way, they’ll have some stuff to dig into right when they get there, rather than awkwardly lingering and waiting for directions.
How do you make a new employee announcement?
You’ve staged a warm welcome for your new hire, but there’s another hurdle you need to get over: how to introduce a new employee to their team.
Bringing in somebody new can be a big adjustment, and you want to make sure your existing team members are in the loop about who this person is and what they’ll be responsible for.
Ahead of that employee’s start date, send an email to your team that shares:
- New hire’s name
- Job title
- Start date
- Background (like where did they work before and what expertise are they bringing to the table?)
- Who team members should approach with questions about this new hire (like will this person be helping with a specific project or taking on certain responsibilities?)
Those bullet points are enough to give your team a heads up about who’s coming aboard.
On the new employee’s actual start date, you can host an in-person meeting where everybody can get to know them better. Or, at the very least, send another email announcement (and include the new hire) that’s a little more warm and personal.
If multiple people are starting on the same day or week, you might consider these new employee orientation icebreakers to give the newbies a chance to get to know each other. Even virtual onboarding becomes way less awkward with games for remote teams like “Emoji Questions.”
How to welcome a new employee in a remote setting
In today's digital age, more and more companies are shifting towards remote work. As such, welcoming a new team member in a remote setting can be a unique challenge. When onboarding remote employees, it's crucial to foster a sense of connection and inclusion despite the physical distance.
Firstly, set up a virtual tour of your company's digital tools and chosen work management platform. This can be done through a video call where you walk the new hire through the different software and digital tools your team uses. Make sure to explain the purpose of each tool and how it's used in daily operations.
Next, consider sending a digital welcome package instead of the standard one described above. This might include an e-gift card for home office supplies, a digital manual of your company's policies and culture, or even a virtual map of your company's online resources.
How to welcome a new team member using the buddy system
Another effective strategy for welcoming a new employee is implementing a buddy system. Pairing a new hire with a more experienced team member can help the newcomer acclimate more quickly. The buddy can provide insights about company culture, answer questions, and offer support during the new hire's initial weeks.
A buddy system not only helps the new employee feel welcomed, but it also encourages the development of positive working relationships within the team. This approach can significantly improve the onboarding process and contribute to long-term employee retention.
How to leverage technology for effective onboarding
In today's tech-driven world, several tools and platforms can streamline your onboarding process. For instance, using project management solutions like Wrike can help new hires better understand their tasks and responsibilities as they’re clearly displayed in workflows, dashboards, and AI-led to-do lists.
Moreover, digital communication tools like Slack or Zoom can facilitate better interaction and engagement. These platforms (which are easily integrated with Wrike) can host virtual meet-and-greets, team-building activities, and regular check-ins, ensuring that new hires feel connected and part of the team.
Remember, a successful onboarding process can significantly affect an employee's productivity and their decision to stay long-term with your company. Choosing software that can help welcome a new team member onboard is an investment that can lead to lower turnover rates and higher employee satisfaction.
Don't forget to continuously improve your onboarding process based on feedback and changing trends in the digital workplace.
How to welcome a new employee with Wrike’s employee onboarding templates
We’ve covered the new employee welcome message, but that’s only a small piece of the bigger employee onboarding puzzle.
From setting up their workspace to getting the right paperwork together, there are tons to keep track of. You can make it easier on yourself and your entire team by using Wrike’s employee onboarding template.
This template will help you set up a checklist to make sure you’ve covered all of your bases, as well as a custom request form that gets all of the need-to-know information from your new hires.
Not sure where to start when it comes to welcoming a new team member? Wrike’s employee onboarding template is the ideal solution, delivering everything you need to make sure you can welcome your new team member smoothly, fostering a long-term relationship that’ll benefit you, your new colleague, and the company.