First things first, what good is investing time and resources in finding top talent when you scare your employees away in less than 90 days for having a poor onboarding process? The commitment to provide the best employee experience starts way beyond your new hire’s start date. Some would even argue it begins from the moment you send your offer letter, and here’s why.
With turnover rates skyrocketing over the last couple of months, employers need to up their game in the war for talent. For many companies, that means reexamining the value they offer to their employees, such as their corporate perks and company culture. And right in the mix of those two is where you’ll find the onboarding practices that make the most sense for your organization.
Now, that last part is key to understanding that, even if there are great onboarding trends like the welcome kit, you need to select and adapt the ones that are aligned with the real work environment and values your company is made of. Giving your employees the right sense of what to expect from the beginning is a matter of sustainability.
There are so many onboarding practices you can choose from, many of which can fit into a nicely arranged welcome kit. While the idea of unboxing your office is not new, it has certainly been on the rise along with remote work.
But who’s to say you can’t bring this engaging practice to an onsite work experience. It’s not about the place, but the sense of belonging. After all, what makes a house a home is not the place, right? Well, the same goes for your office and your entire work experience.
Not to abuse the analogy, but what makes a welcome kit work is precisely because, when properly executed, it feels like a housewarming gift. It’s a wonderful way to make your employees feel like they made the right choice and that they belong with your company.
The 30% of employees that leave a company during the first 3 months, do it because they don’t feel like they fit well within the company’s culture. Clearly, a box stuffed with office supplies that have your logo all over it is not going to solve that. However, you can use your welcome kit as a tool to avoid confusion as to what to expect moving forward and set a clear standard.
Some companies go overboard with their onboarding boxes, but it’s not about how many things you put in there. The secret to a memorable welcoming is to make sure that it’s both useful and meaningful. Otherwise, you might be spending money on company memorabilia that will end up collecting dust in a junk drawer or being tossed away.
We’ll talk about cost later on, but many hiring managers, when researching the cost of welcome kits, might turn down this initiative right off the bat. If that’s your case, remember, the point of a welcome kit is to enhance your onboarding process.
That means that you can use these boxes to pack in the basics, such as those tools that were already part of your hiring budget. But instead of just handing them over, you can turn it into a wholesome employee experience that truly makes them feel glad to have accepted your offer.
Here are some examples of the basics:
For your remote workers, you might also send an adapter, monitor, USB with access keys. So basically, don’t forget to pack in everything your new hire needs to perform their job from day one. But a useful kit doesn’t stop there. Depending on your budget, here’s where you can throw in those “housewarming gifts” that your employee will appreciate and use.
Ideas for your welcome kit:
Honestly, the sky’s the limit. Be as creative with this as you want/can. Again, you don’t have to spend big money on a luxury box but make sure that whatever it is you include is made from good quality materials. If you give out stuff that feels like trash then your new hires might feel the same way, and that’s not the kind of first impression you want to give.
To help you make up your mind on what to include or how to present it, try filtering your ideas through this question: Is it meaningful? A coffee mug with your logo on it may suffice, but how about using this opportunity to display your company values so that they are present in every sip?
Can you print a welcome letter on the first page of their notebook telling them how much you appreciate them joining your team? It’s ok if it’s not fully personalized, but it has to read genuinely.
Speaking of personalization, which is a great idea, don’t forget that it’s not just about putting their name on things, you can also present them with choices. A good example is how Google lets their new hires personalize their unboxing experience by choosing whether they want a MacBook or a Chromebook depending on what best fits their needs or workstyle.
Depending on what you choose to put in the box, and how many people you are bringing into the company, this practice can be expensive for sure. Adding the cost of the box plus the welcome items (water bottle, notebook, t-shirt, etc.) to your basics might increase your onboarding cost to about $60 per new hire. Companies like Time Doctor even spend $200 per box or $37,000 per year.
On top of that, you also need to consider shipping for your remote workforce. And if you’ve jumped into the international talent pool, you need to consider the cost of international shipping and taxes as well.
This is not to discourage you, but to put your vision into perspective and make this a sustainable and worthy practice. For example, you can include the basics and some swag but add a QR code that will lead them to a digital welcome kit that includes the employee handbook, a starter guide for the software you use, and a welcoming video from leadership.
Remember, the goal is to enhance the employee experience.
You can even get creative with what you’ve already read in this article. Use personalization and choice to your advantage. Let those environmentally friendly new hires opt-out on the physical memorabilia. In a way, you are letting them know that not only do they align with your values but that you align with theirs. Just keep in mind the choice factor here.
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