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How to welcome a new employee to your business

Last updated

21 September 2023

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Lara Leganger

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So you’ve spent weeks or even months looking for, interviewing, and negotiating with your ideal candidate for a vacancy in your company.

The offer letter is signed; their first day is scheduled. There’s nothing for you to do now except kick back and celebrate your hiring success, right?

Wrong.

If you think like that, you’re downplaying perhaps the most important phase in the entire recruitment process—welcoming the new hire.

Below, you’ll find personal and practical tips on how to welcome a new employee in the right way. Get help transforming your onboarding process from a snoozefest into an impactful, fun, and truly wholesome experience that benefits everyone involved right off the bat.

Why do you need to welcome a new employee?

Having a clear and engaging orientation strategy is the most effective way to ensure a new hire doesn’t feel like a cog in a machine or a hamster in a wheel. It’s critical to employee satisfaction, retention, engagement and, above all, their value to your company.

An onboarding study of 1,000 full-time recruits in the US by Bamboo HR uncovered the following statistics:

  • 91% of onboarded employees feel strongly connected to their new company’s culture.

  • 89% of employees who receive effective onboarding feel engaged at work.

  • Employees are 30 times more likely to have strong job satisfaction if they are onboarded effectively.

  • 85% of onboarded employees fully understand and use the company benefits available to them.

The bottom line is that companies that invest time into employee orientation and onboarding see increased engagement, stronger cultures, and deeper bonds between colleagues. New hires hit the ground running and can start contributing sooner. All of these benefits combined result in drastic improvements to a company’s success.

How to welcome a new employee

New employees are often apprehensive about stepping into a new role in an unfamiliar environment with lots of new faces.

It’s your job to make them feel loved, welcome, and appreciated from the moment you call them to tell them, “You’re hired.” It sets a positive tone for their time at the company and helps them integrate into the team.

Here are some thoughtful ways to welcome new hires:

1. Celebrate their arrival

Try to do everything in your power to make sure the new hire knows your team is excited for them to join. This is a time for celebration, so have fun with it!

Consider these ideas as you prepare to give the candidate a warm welcome:

  • Gather the team and create a welcome video.

  • Send them a welcome gift or a piece of company swag.

  • Organize a team breakfast or lunch on the new hire’s first day.

  • Encourage team members to write welcome notes or cards to express their excitement about the new hire’s arrival.

This phase is all about making sure your new hire is happy to say yes to your job offer and getting them excited to join the rest of the team. Make it count.

2. Introduce their team

Few can escape the qualms and jitters that come with starting a new job. Introducing the new employee to their team and putting faces to names reduces the anxiety and uncertainty associated with a new work environment.

Perhaps more importantly, introductions can help new hires understand how they fit into the larger team puzzle. This prevents them from having that hamster-in-a-wheel feeling of working hard without seeing how their efforts contribute to the company’s overall success.

3. Design a comprehensive onboarding schedule

The orientation process isn’t complete once you have ushered in your latest hire. Employee onboarding is actually where the real work begins.

Follow up on your welcome messages and videos with an onboarding experience that’s just as exciting. Falling short here can leave the new employee questioning whether they made the right decision. It might even cause them to leave the organization prematurely.

That said, your onboarding schedule should be both comprehensive and precise. Don’t leave any room for doubt or guesswork.

Find out more about creating an onboarding schedule later on in the article.

4. Ensure they have everything they need before their first day

Once you and your team have welcomed your new hire, you can focus on making their first day unforgettable. The best way to accomplish this is to pull together everything they might need and ensure it’s all ready and accessible. Do this a few days in advance to avoid forgetting important items and additions that the new hire really needs.

Start by preparing their workstation (why not throw in some welcome signs and decorations). From there, bring in all the tools they will need. These might include the following:

  • An employee handbook

  • An agenda for their first day

  • A nameplate or employee ID

  • A set of business cards

  • Necessary office equipment, including a computer and phone

5. Stay patient and available

Don’t go MIA on your candidate during or after the orientation process. Make sure you maintain lines of communication and notify the new hire of what’s expected of them going forward. You should also explain projects and goals for the coming months.

If possible, meet the new hire daily to ensure they are blending in well with the rest of the team, their equipment is working properly, and they are feeling at home. You’ll be amazed at just how far a bit of patience and gentle guidance can get you and your new hire.

6. Encourage coffee chats with team members

Virtual coffee chats had their reign during the pandemic, but real chats have come back with a bang. They provide new hires with the perfect opportunity to bond with existing team members.

Initial awkwardness will become smiles and laughter, contacts will change hands, and lasting friendships will start taking shape. Coffee break chats are the perfect opportunity to build a sense of community and foster a better work culture.

7. Pair new hires with seasoned coworkers

Coffee chats don’t always achieve their intended goal. Existing employees may take unnecessarily long to warm up to incoming employees, creating an unhealthy atmosphere that benefits no one. In that case, it might be best to pair new hires with seasoned colleagues. This is known as a “buddy system.”

More experienced colleagues can offer insider tips on navigating team dynamics and company culture. This mentor can also provide guidance, answer questions, and offer support, making the new hire feel welcomed and valued.

Creating an onboarding schedule

Onboarding schedules are often broken into the following phases but can be adapted as you see fit:

Phase 1 (before the first day)

Prepare all the relevant paperwork (like forms for payroll and benefits) and the new hire’s workstation. Gather all the tools the person will need (more on this shortly).

Phase 2 (the first day)

First days are all about welcoming the new employee to the team, showing them around the office, and introducing them to other staff. The goal is to get them started on the right foot.

Phase 3 (first week)

During the first week, your new hire can start doing some real work. Be upfront, clear, and reasonable about your expectations.

Phase 4 (first month)

By this time, your new hire should be starting to come into their own and collaborating with other team members on crucial projects. Encourage them to keep learning, developing, and asking questions.

Phase 5 (first three to six months)

Consider this the transition period that tells you just how well the new hire has gelled with the team and work environment in general. This is when the newbie treatment ends and performance reviews and probationary periods begin.

To help your new hire get to grips with the inner workings of the company, continue to assign increasingly important and challenging projects.

Phase 6 (first year)

By the end of this phase, you would expect the new hire to be a fully productive member of the team.

Several things should happen when your hire has been working at your organization for a year:

  • A yearly performance review

  • Recognition for completing a whole year at the company

  • Discussions around what to expect in the next year

  • Discussions about reimbursement and raises (if appropriate)

Except for a few alterations here and there to reflect your new hire’s unique needs, your onboarding schedule should include all six phases. Skip one, and you risk having a half-baked, unhappy employee.

10 examples of welcome messages

When you’re sending a welcome letter or note to a new employee on their first day, every word you say matters. What do you want them to know? What do you want them to believe about their talents and potential? Think about the key ideas you want them to take away from your message. 

Perhaps you want to empower them to experiment, or maybe you’re looking to bring out the change-maker in them. Whatever the end goal, make sure your messaging communicates it in black and white.

Here are 10 simple welcome messages for new employees. Use these thoughtful statements as a template and make them your own:

  • “Congratulations and welcome, [name]! We can’t wait to see how you’ll shake things up around here.”

  • “Welcome, [name]! We are all so proud to have you as a part of our team and look forward to getting to know you better. We know you will thrive as you learn and grow in the years to come!”

  • “Excited to welcome you to the team! We believe you will do great things in this role and hope you always feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and ideas.”

  • “Welcome and congratulations, [name]! We choose our team members carefully because when we onboard someone, we commit to their success. We look forward to helping you do amazing work with us.”

  • “Welcome to the team, [name]! We celebrate diversity and believe in the power of inclusion. Your unique perspective is a valuable asset to our organization.”

  • “Hello [name], our company culture is one of teamwork and camaraderie. Welcome to a supportive community where you can grow both personally and professionally.”

  • “Dear [name], at our company, we value work–life balance and employee well-being. We’re excited to support you in maintaining a healthy balance as you excel in your role.”

  • “Welcome to [company name], [new hire’s name]! We thrive on innovation and creativity. Your ideas and fresh perspectives are essential as we push boundaries and create new solutions.”

  • “Welcome to our team! We hired you because we saw something special in you—a fresh eye that can help take us to the next level. We know you’ll make waves, and we’re committed to supporting you at every step of the way.”

  • “We’re excited to have you join the team, [name]! Please know that we are all here to help you in any way we can, and we look forward to working together soon.”

Remember to personalize these messages with specific details where appropriate and maintain a warm and inviting tone that aligns with your organization’s purpose and culture. Generic or filler words will get you nowhere.

Greeting a new colleague on their first day in the office

There are no hard-and-fast rules for greeting new hires on their first day, but generally, your tone should be warm and inviting.

Subsequent responses should be elaborate and helpful rather than generic or awkward. Instead of saying, “Hi, great to have you around,” say something like, “Welcome! The team will be stronger than ever now that you’re here. If there’s any way I can help you settle in faster, please let me know.” The new hire will walk away feeling content and at home—a big win from an employee retention perspective.

Welcome email messages for remote employees

A remote work environment is completely unique, and so is the way you should handle onboarding for remote employees.

Starting at a new company can be especially daunting for new remote employees as there’s no one to say hello to in person. That’s why welcoming them virtually is essential for alleviating their stress and making them feel wanted and recognized.

The templates below have different tones and purposes. You can use them as a reference when writing your own messages or copy and paste them directly.

  • “You made it, [name]! Happy first day at [company name]. We are thrilled to welcome you to our family, and we can’t wait to embark on this virtual adventure together. You’re not just joining a company; you’re joining a community of innovators, collaborators, and game-changers. Making you feel welcome from day one is our top priority, so I’m sending you our employee handbook, your onboarding guide, and a few other docs to review. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you get stuck—we’re all here to help. Have a great first day on the new job!”

  • “Welcome to [company name], where the future of work is now, and you are a crucial part of it! We’re absolutely thrilled to have you join our remote team of trailblazers and change-makers. We can’t wait for you to get started on your first day. To get you settled, [manager name] will reach out within the next hour to set up your onboarding session, give you access to all our platforms, and answer any questions you may have. Sit tight; we’ve got your back!”

  • “Congratulations [name], you’re one of us now! We know first days can be stressful and difficult to maneuver, and we’re here to make sure your experience is everything but. Attached are a few onboarding documents that have all the info you need for your first day. During the day, we’ll make sure you feel our physical presence as well. Stay on the lookout for a special package to celebrate your new job! If you have any queries, please reach out to [contact] for assistance. Welcome, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in your stride soon!”

Of course, this is in no way a complete list. There are many other ways you can craft welcome email messages. Be creative!

Welcoming new employees in the right way

The more employee inductions you execute, the more you’ll learn about what you’re getting right and any areas you might need to revisit and reevaluate.

Welcoming feedback from all perspectives from different departments and team members is a great place to start. As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work.”

Transforming these suggestions into a comprehensive plan tailored to your company’s unique needs will serve as a solid foundation. Once you’ve honed the ideal plan, life will become much easier for you, your new hires, and your onboarding team.

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