20 Fun Ways to Welcome New Employees
With all of the changes in the workforce in recent years, it’s likely that either you have changed jobs or have welcomed new employees to your team. What hasn’t changed is how critical it is to onboard new hires in an engaging and effective way to ensure they stay with the company long-term. According to Gallup, only 12% of U.S. employees say their company does a good job of onboarding. In addition, according to Gallup Analytics, nearly one in five employees either report that their most recent onboarding was poor or that they received no onboarding at all.
There is a huge opportunity to positively impact new hires during the onboarding process, especially given that employee turnover can be as much as 50% in the first 18 months of employment, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SRHM). As daunting as that may sound, we have some excellent ideas for making your onboarding more engaging and fun without revamping the whole process.
Send out an email announcement to the company
One of the easiest and most visible ways to make new employees feel welcome is to send out a company-wide announcement letting everyone know who they are and what they’ll be doing. Personalize the announcement by including a photo of them and some fun facts so that they stand out even more. Including some personal details also gives coworkers an opening to connect with them. If your company is predominantly remote, or if a new employee is remote, the email announcement is an especially great way to introduce them to the team and gives them an easy intro to meeting new coworkers.
Add New Employees to Virtual Spaces and Social Events
Once everyone’s been introduced, create a sense of community by adding new hires to any virtual spaces for teams or chats and scheduling any regular meetings they should attend. This will ensure that the new employee feels the sense of belonging they need to have an impactful onboarding experience. Especially if the new hire is working remotely, adding them to these spaces beforehand will help them feel welcome and like a part of the team. If you’re working in person or at least in the same city, be sure to invite them to any social events your company may host or coworkers’ happy hours.
Complete All Administrative Tasks Ahead of Time
New employees will feel extra prepared and ready to tackle the day if they don’t have to worry about things like creating an email account, getting a key to the office, or accessing Slack. When all of these tasks are completed, the day will go much smoother and they can focus on what really matters: their job!
Bring Some Breakfast Treats on Their First Day
At Custom Ink, we love food, and we’ve never seen anyone disappointed from donuts, pastries, or bagels at the office! Treating everyone in the office to some tasty baked goods is a fun way to welcome new employees and reward everyone on the team.
Decorate Their Desk or Workspace
If you’re working in the office, grab some balloons and banners and give them a warm welcome! This will add an extra sense of occasion to their first day and get them started on decorating their workspace.
Provide Branded Office Supplies to Get Them Started
Make sure they have everything they need with custom office supplies featuring your company logo. Check out custom notebooks with pens, custom sticky notes, and custom pens. Paying attention to these details can make a huge difference to new employees.
Take Care of Their Tech Needs
Once you’ve decorated their desks and stocked their spaces with branded office supplies, ensure their tech needs are covered too. Surprise them with custom tech accessories, like custom headphones and custom USB drives, to power them through their day.
Print Their Business Cards Beforehand
Another detail that new employees will appreciate is having their custom business cards printed as soon as they start. It will solidify them as part of the team and allow them to start making new connections in and out of their network.
Take Note of Their Birthday and Work Anniversary
Small gestures can make a big difference. Ask them when their birthday is and take note of their work anniversary so there are always a couple of opportunities to celebrate throughout the year.
Create an Itinerary for Their First Week
Starting a new job can be overwhelming, so knowing what to do can be even more confusing. Ease the anxiety by creating an itinerary that gives your new employees somewhere to start and provides a road map for how their job will go.
Partner Them With a Mentor
Another way to help new hires feel supported in their roles is to partner them with a peer mentor who can be a resource and guide them through their onboarding process. By providing a peer mentor, the new employee has someone who they can feel comfortable going to for questions and training. It also opens up the onboarding process to people beyond a manager or supervisor. In some cases, a mentor may be a better choice for answering certain questions since they’ll have presumably been “in the work” more than a supervisor. As a bonus, this is a great way to foster engagement for current employees who are mentors, so they can benefit from an effective onboarding process as well.
Give Them a Welcome Gift
An excellent way for companies to show that they are actively invested in, and care about, their people is through a welcome gift, such as custom t-shirts and other custom gear. Firstly, a custom gift is a simple way to make someone feel welcome. Secondly, it’s easy to feel like a team when you look like a team, and it fosters company pride. Custom Ink offers a wide selection of apparel for every time of year and occasion, so it’s easy to find custom gear that your new hire will love and actually use. Custom Ink also has easy-to-use design tools that will make your custom logo design shine. Use the free Design Lab to create a custom design or upload an existing design to promote your brand at the same time.
Once the onboarding process is complete, celebrate their accomplishment by rewarding them with a milestone gift. An employee appreciation gift can be used for milestones as well as rewarding their accomplishments. It also helps with both retention and engagement, and it will show the new employee that they’re a welcome part of the team and company. Using custom gear to recognize and reward employees for actions like joining the company, staying long-term, reaching personal goals, and exhibiting other positive behavior not only shows that a company sees the effort they’re making, but it encourages other employees to do the same.
Share a Get-It-Done Playlist or Favorite Podcast
Another fun way to welcome new employees is sharing playlists you or other coworkers love for powering through your to-do list or a podcast that you binged recently. Sharing interests like these are great conversation starters and helps new employees feel connected.
Send Them on New Hire Scavenger Hunt
Of all the fun ways to welcome new employees, this one might be at the top. Help them get to know the office by sending them on a scavenger hunt! It’s an interactive way to learn about the company and engaging enough that they’ll remember what they learn.
Play Simple Games to Get to Know Them
Reserve some team-building time to get to know each other and play a game like Two Truths and a Lie. Get coworkers involved, too, so that everyone has an opportunity to get to know the new hires.
Give Them Books Your Company Endorses
Immerse your new hires in your company’s culture by giving them a book you endorse or have found to be particularly impactful in shaping how you work. Some of our favorites are Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant, Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, and Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek.
Invite Them Out for Lunch or a Post-Work Happy Hour
Take an opportunity to answer any questions, talk through their first week, or just get to know your new employees by having lunch or going out for a happy hour. The extra investment of time and attention can go a long way.
Survey Current Employees About Their Onboarding Experience
A great way to learn about the current onboarding process and how employees’ experiences were is to survey them. When trying to build a successful onboarding process, one of your greatest resources is the employees who went through it already. Send out a survey as often as necessary to keep the experience fresh and valuable.
Be Available and Accessible
Of all these fun ways to welcome employees, one of the most impactful is simply being available and accessible. Better to be available to new hires when they need help than to leave them treading water and wondering who to ask. This goes for their mentor as well!
Welcoming new employees and improving the onboarding process doesn’t have to be complicated. By doing some simple actions like sending out an email or giving a custom gift, you can improve the engagement of your employees and maybe even promote your business.
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