Welcome gifts for new employees are the equivalent of taking fresh cookies to your new neighbors. They help you establish a positive rapport and demonstrate a friendly work environment.
But how do you decide what items to include? We’ll help you dive into the reasoning behind employee welcome gifts and then talk about some items they’re sure to love!
Should Onboarding Include Welcome Gifts for New Employees?
You may be feeling hesitant to invest time, money, and effort in curating welcome gifts for new hires. After all, you already went through the work of recruiting and interviewing to select the right candidate. You may even be offering a generous sign-on bonus. Is there a reason to do even more?
Many people approach a new job with feelings of trepidation and excitement. Starting somewhere new is a nerve wracking experience, but a welcome gift helps ease some of those nerves. It also makes the onboarding process a little less daunting by offering something exciting amidst mountains of paperwork and hours of training.
Is There a Connection Between Onboarding and Employee Engagement and Retention?
Studies have shown that a person’s decision to remain at a job isn’t cemented when they accept the new position. In fact, 86% of new hires take 6 months to confirm whether they want to stay, and a third leave within those first six months.
A strong onboarding process has been proven to increase the new hire retention rate by 82% and boost productivity by over 70%. While a welcome kit is just a small component of a much larger onboarding process, it sends a clear message to new employees. We are happy you are joining us, and we are putting in the effort to show you.
Want to learn more about the connection between employee engagement and retention? We’ve got you covered.
10 Welcome Gifts for New Employees
When it comes to your employee welcome gifts, effort matters more than expense, so they can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Here are some of our favorite ideas to inspire your next welcome basket.
Handwritten welcome note
One of the most genuinely welcoming items to provide new employees is a handwritten note from a manager or executive. It doesn’t need to be long, just enough to share their excitement that the new employee is joining the company. They’ll appreciate the effort and thought behind the gesture and feel like a valued member of the team.
A physical copy of the employee handbook is easily accessible during training and anytime a question arises. If you’re looking for some ideas for your handbook, check out this guide from the Society for Human Resource Management.
Along with the traditional handbook, consider providing a more unofficial guide to the workplace to make the transition a little smoother. What do you wish you knew when you got started? What information might be helpful to know even though it’s not policy?
This manual might consist of:
- A company directory with photos and a few fun facts about each person.
- A list of nearby restaurants and coffee shops you would recommend.
- Details about fun company traditions.
- Questions you anticipate new hires having about company culture.
What better way to celebrate a new job than with some branded company goodies? Go big or go small; the options are nearly endless. Some of our favorite picks include a nice pen, stainless steel water bottle, company sweatshirt, or new notepad. Branded gifts may even help new employees build an important emotional connection with the company.
Office furniture and accessories
If you’re looking to splurge, consider providing employees with a new piece of office furniture to make their work area a little more comfortable. Even a smaller office accessory can make a huge difference. Of course, ask people what they need before making any big purchases. Here are a few items that could improve someone’s workspace:
- adjustable standing/sitting desk
- laptop stand
- ergonomic desk chair
- standing desk mat
- monitor stand
- wireless mouse
- ergonomic keyboard
While some of the above office accessories fall into this category, there are also a number of other tech supplies that employees might benefit from receiving. A webcam cover keeps employees off camera unless they intend to be seen. Blue-light glasses help offset any negative effects of extended screen time. Depending on the new employee’s role, they might work more efficiently with a personal printer, scanner, or shredder.
Contribute to your new employee’s snack drawer with a variety of treats. Since tastes can vary, include a little bit of everything: sweet and salty items accompanied by fresh fruit and a drink. You can find personalized snack baskets from a number of online retailers, but it may be easier and less expensive to create your own.
If your company culture emphasizes employee wellbeing, a fitness tracker is the perfect way to engage new hires. Here’s a rundown of some of the top wearables, and here’s a list of some budget-friendly options. Watch out – you might just have some new competition for your next step challenge.
Include a few non work-related items to emphasize the value your company puts on employee wellbeing. The options here are nearly endless – scented candles, lotion, nice socks, soothing tea.
A company-wide introduction
Being the new person in a place full of co-workers who already know each other is a challenge. Make the transition a little smoother by sending a company-wide message introducing your new employee. Include their name, what they’ll be doing, and a photo they’re comfortable distributing.
The Terryberry Social Recognition Program and Platform makes it easy to share this announcement. In addition, colleagues can respond with personalized greetings and messages. Who wouldn’t want to be welcomed so warmly?
Our Top Dos and Don’ts for Your Welcome Gift
You only get one chance to make a first impression. How can you send the right message to your new employees?
DO incorporate items that promote your company culture.
Do you emphasize work-life balance? Include both personal and work-related items. Does your business work with local clients? Give new employees items from local vendors. Are you focused on promoting sustainability? Provide reusable items or gifts made from recycled products. Let your welcome gift speak to the mission and values of your organization.
DON’T ask other employees to chip in.
This can lead to feelings of resentment. The cost of new employee gifts should be placed on the company, not employees. Include it in your recruiting budget and remember that the cost of these gifts can be as high or low as you want.
DO ask employees what they need – especially remote workers.
A welcome gift is a great gesture; a welcome gift based on initial employee feedback knocks it out of the park. After a few days or weeks on the job, talk to the employee and ask what items they could use to make their job easier.
Meeting even one of these requests is a great way to show that you want them to feel welcome. For example, your new hire might note that having a personal scanner might eliminate the need to walk to the copier thirty times a day, or an ergonomic chair could contribute to a more comfortable work environment.
DON’T ‘gift’ items that your employee needs to do their job.
This is the equivalent of a sitcom husband giving his wife the new vacuum she didn’t ask for on their anniversary. While you should always provide the necessary work tools, such as a computer or office supplies, those items don’t scream, “We wanted to do something to make you feel welcome!”
Essentially, you just want to establish a workplace culture where employees feel valued and appreciated. Terryberry is here to help make that goal a reality. Contact us to learn more about our social recognition platform and program!