6 Creative Ideas to Welcome Your New Hires
Many organizations invest a significant amount of time, energy, and resources into the recruitment process, developing and perfecting the right tools to hire the right people. While it’s crucial to adopt solid processes for employee hiring and training, this is only half the battle. To build a solid team, companies need to go a step further. According to Talent Management & HR, one-third of employees will quit after the first six months of employment.
Given this jarring statistic, employers need to implement an onboarding process that welcomes new hires in an effective way. When new recruits feel comfortable and at home in their new work environment, they will be more likely to stay on board and commit for the long term. Businesses that provide a pleasant onboarding experience will incite employee loyalty, an essential part of engaging and retaining talent.
The following are some unique and creative ways to welcome new hires:
The Personal Touch
The onboarding process doesn’t have to begin once the new employee has started the job. There is no better way to show appreciation and convey a company’s culture than by extending a personal, heartfelt note of welcome. Thanks to its speed and efficiency, e-mail may be a preferred method of communication, but this strategy lacks the human touch. Instead, employers should opt for a mailed, handwritten note. This caring, unexpected gesture will carry a lot weight, showing the new recruit how much he or she is appreciated.
For an additional special touch that enhances the employee-employer connection and establishes familiarity, businesses can even include a photo of their team members. Likewise, a phone call from the company CEO or HR representative is a powerful action that will make the individual feel welcome. In today’s electronic culture, this particular strategy can be especially effective.
Host an Event Before Their Start Date
Connections can be made even before a new employee starts work. Scheduling a social event with colleagues and managers will help create personal connections, as well as reduce an employee’s level of stress during the first few days on the job. Organizing a gathering such as happy hour, breakfast, coffee, or a small, intimate reception will give the team a chance to get to know one another outside of work, helping to establish important bonds that will benefit both the company and its employees.
This special time also will allow individuals to share information about themselves and find common interests, which will greatly ease any anxieties about meeting their new co-workers.
The Preboarding Gift
A superb, pre-boarding gift does more than welcome a new employee, it reflects the spirit of an organization and communicates its core values. Unboxing the gift should be a memorable experience that conjures warmth and delight, so employers should take the time to do this right. Including a variety of goodies such as company swag, office supplies, gift certificates to local restaurants, snacks or gift cards, in a branded box, will create a positive, visual statement that reinforces the employer’s stance on employee care and satisfaction.
When it comes to new employees who’ve had to relocate, it may be especially useful to include information that will help them better integrate. Including a guide book or interesting tidbits about their new geographical location is a great way to surprise them and display a high level of care. Above-and-beyond actions like these are sure to stand out and let new recruits know they’ve made the right choice.
Make Sure Everything Is Fully Set Up Before They Arrive
First impressions matter in the workplace. On an employee’s first day, everything should be properly set up to ensure optimum comfort and productivity. To ensure the new team member has everything he or she needs, office essentials such as a phone, computer, supplies, and business cards should be ordered ahead of time. It’s also important to plan the employee’s first day by preparing a schedule that minimizes chaos and wasteful downtime.
Create a Fun Scavenger Hunt
Ice-breaking activities such as a scavenger hunts are a delightful way to encourage team bonding and help the new hire learn about his or her new work environment. The best way to achieve this is to include clues that incite engagement. For instance, clues that require new members to communicate with existing staff will not only help them establish personal connections but also familiarize them with the office layout, enabling them to spot items and areas that may be useful in their daily work life.
These types of games can help new recruits absorb new information in a way that doesn’t overload or overwhelm. However, when it comes to staging a successful scavenger hunt, pushing the bounds of familiarity is not recommended as it may embarrass some individuals, so the tasks and topics should always remain professional.
Snack & Greet Announcements
Creating a snack & greet announcement for all new employees is another creative way to enhance the onboarding experience. Snack & greet strategies are easy to implement. To start, a box of treats and goodies should be placed on the new hire’s desk. Then a casual e-mail is sent to selected recipients (colleagues, managers, etc.) to invite them to join the new employee at the goody station. In the e-mail invite, it’s a smart idea to include the new employee’s photo, as well as a brief bio, because this will establish a connection before the face-to-face meeting. Snack & greet events allow people to get to know each other in a fun, casual manner as opposed to the standard, awkward greeting rounds.
Phil Bagdasarian is the co-founder of Packwire, an online printing and packaging service that enables businesses to create their own box design, including branded mailers, folding cartons, shipping boxes and gift boxes.