The onboarding process is becoming an increasingly important way to effectively integrate new hires. Obviously, most new employees at a company are excited and ready to get their first day off and running. But, you can make them feel even more welcome (and well-prepared) with a fun and useful onboarding kit full of some company swag.
A high-quality new employee welcome kit is the key to making a good first impression. It’s also an important part of the onboarding process. Over two-thirds of new employees stay 3 years or longer at a company when they experience good onboarding procedures. A good employee welcome kit is all part of that process.
But, what makes a good employee onboarding kit? What items should you include to get the most out of your swag? We’ll clue you into why employee welcome kits are important and what branded products you should throw in there to make your new hires feel valued and prepared.
The Value of a New Employee Welcome Kit
To put it plainly, no one wants to show up to their first day on the job feeling like their employer hasn’t prepared them to excel. They also don’t want to feel like their first day is an afterthought to the company. A poor onboarding process that simply thrusts a new hire into the fire can be overwhelming and disappointing.
Obviously, an onboarding kit in and of itself isn’t going to make your new employee eternally loyal to your cause, but it’s not a bad start. Having a bunch of company swag can help them feel like they are part of something bigger.
They may even wear a branded t-shirt with pride or carry a water bottle wherever they go outside of the office. Swag is a great way to keep new hires engaged in the company culture while also allowing them to act as brand ambassadors in their daily lives. Some other benefits of a good employee welcome kit include:
- It motivates employees to work hard and be productive
- It introduces your brand and style aesthetic to the employee
- It helps give them a good idea of the company culture
- It informs them of everything from office rules to answers to frequently asked questions
- It gives them the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently
Of course, more goes in to a welcome kit than simply a bunch of swag. Rules, company values, a list of FAQs, and any onboarding paperwork that may still need to be signed will also usually be in the kit.
While those things are important, they’re typically not memorable and might give your new employee a bland vibe. So, it makes sense to spice up the less exciting aspects of onboarding with a little swag. So, what kind of swag goes into a welcome kit?
When a new employee takes their first look at a swag bag or box, they will undoubtedly be expecting something they can wear. Apparel is a great way to offer your new hires something cool and functional that they can show off wherever they go. An article of clothing with your branding on it can also help them feel like they are a part of the team from the get-go.
The obvious go-to for promotional apparel is a shirt. Everyone wears them and they can be used in multiple settings. Custom t-shirts are a common option, but you can also go for something a little more formal like a polo or dress shirt. In any event, your branding will be featured prominently on the front (or back) of the shirt.
You may also want go with something a little more heavy-duty like a hoodie or even a jacket if you live in an area where the weather gets particularly cold. Another great option that works for both the board room and the outdoors is a nice vest. Typically, though, a shirt is the most practical option based on the amount of space you have available.
But, you don’t have to opt for just an article of clothing that covers the torso. There are plenty of other apparel options that can make your new employees feel right at home, including:
- Custom socks – You can put any design on a pair of socks that you want. This can be a fun gift that lets your new hires see your lighter side.
- Headwear – Whether you looking for a standard baseball cap or a warm beanie, you can never go wrong with some headwear.
- Scarves – Winter’s on its way, and a comfortable scarf can keep your new employees feeling cozy despite the cold weather.
Technology is as important now as it’s ever been, and many of us have become inseparable from our devices and gadgets. So, it makes sense to surprise your new hires with something more than just a t-shirt and a few tchotchkes on their first day. You might think that a branded piece of tech might be out of your budget, but there are plenty of options that are both cool and affordable.
For starters, an increasingly popular (and necessary) device is the vaunted power bank. If you’re unfamiliar, a power bank holds and delivers charging power to smartphones, tablets, and other devices so that you’re never without the use of your most important gadgets. Power banks also have a job-specific component for employees who need to use their phone while out and about. Quality brands like Anker and mophie can really signal how appreciative you are.
Keeping a phone charged is important, but there are also plenty of other tech items that can effectively welcome your new hires into the fold. Some of these include:
- Headphones and earbuds – Everyone likes to listen to music or podcasts with a little privacy. A nice pair of earbuds or headphones (including those from Beats) can make the public transit ride to work a little more relaxing.
- Bluetooth speakers – Sometimes, people enjoy listening to their favorite tunes with a group of people. Bluetooth speakers are always a nice gift that can get after-work parties started.
- USB flash drives – Flash drives can be used for a variety of different functions, most importantly storing and transferring data. You can also pre-load the devices with additional information your new employees might need.
Functional Items for Office or Other Use
You want your new hires to be delighted when they see their employee welcome kits, but you also want them to be prepared to their jobs. Items like pens, notepads, mouse pads, and a bevy of other desk accessories can help them get a jump start on their first day. Most employees aren’t toting all these items around on their first day. So, just giving those products to them can ease their mind and help them integrate more easily.
But, there are also plenty of other functional items that would go great in a new employee welcome kit. For instance, water bottles have almost become an aspect of the work uniform. As people rely less on single-use plastic bottles, it’s important to have a reusable water bottle with them at all times to remain hydrated. You can also opt for impressive brands like:
Staying with the theme of drinkware, a personal coffee mug can also be a welcome sight for any new employee. Most people drink coffee, and if they don’t, they almost certainly drink something else like orange juice, tea, or milk. New hires won’t have to worry about bringing their own dishes to the office.
Other Fun and Functional Stuff
If you want your new employees to view you as a fun and exciting company, then you may want to fill your welcome kit with some fun and exciting swag. Not everything in the onboarding box or bag has to be 100% practical for the purposes of the job. Some great gifts that will be sure to put a smile on your new employee’s face include:
If you don’t want to go heavy on the “fun” stuff, you can also add some other functional, but non-essential items to the mix. For instance, if you live an area that receives a hefty amount of rain, a nice umbrella might go well in a new employee welcome kit.
A little bottle of custom hand sanitizer can also be a big hit with some more health conscious new hires. You can never be too prepared to wash away a few germs now and again.
A branded calendar is also a great option to include in a welcome kit and can help keep new employees organized and ready to go from day one.
Many companies want to get onboarding right, and a good day-one can help set the stage for a long-term relationship with top-quality employees. New employee welcome kits aren’t the only key to ensuring that you retain good candidates, but they can certainly help in that endeavor. If you’re having trouble thinking of items you should put in there, just try to have fun with it. The gesture itself will go a long way toward fostering a positive relationship with your new employee. If you want to find out more about how to make your employee welcome kits a reality, contact us today.