It’s no secret that there is a strong correlation between employee recognition and retention. Employee surveys have found that 44% of employees would switch jobs because of not getting adequate recognition for their efforts and 69% would feel encouraged to say if they received better employee rewards.
First impressions are critical, so efforts to recognize and reward employees should start on day one. And because decision-making is 70% emotional and only 30% rational, how new employees feel about their new job on an emotional level is an extremely important part of onboarding.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can leverage corporate gifting to make your new employees feel welcome and excited about their first day of work!
Make a Lasting Impression with a New Employee Welcome Gift
A new employee welcome gift or onboarding gift is one popular way of welcoming and celebrating new team members on their first day with a company. Gifting is just one important part of overall employee recognition, but it’s an easy and effective way to make a good impression right off the bat. A gift will engage new employees on an emotional level and start their employment off on the right foot.
Depending on whether they work remotely or in an office, a welcome gift can either be waiting for them on their desk or delivered to their home. The gift can be a “welcome kit” that includes everything the new employee might need to get started, including practical items like an employee handbook, or the gift can be purely fun and celebratory.
Reasons to Purchase a New Hire Gift or Onboarding Gift
Investing in welcome gifts for your new team members is a win-win for your employees and your company. Onboarding gifts make your employees feel welcome and celebrated, which in turn makes them more enthusiastic and engaged team members. Better employee engagement helps with retention rates, which can save your company time and money in the long run.
Additionally, new hire gifts are an opportunity to express and share your company values and culture with new team members. For example, if sustainability is one of your core values, you can give an eco-friendly gift in sustainable packaging that helps convey this and educates your employees about what is most important to your company.
As a bonus, new employee welcome gifts can help with brand awareness, company reputation, and even talent acquisition. Many new hires share photos and updates about their first day at a new job on social media or within their personal and professional networks. What’s more, if your welcome gift includes some branded items, this will help generate even more brand recognition over time.
5 New Employee Welcome Gift Types
Of course, new employee gifting is only effective when done well; an underwhelming or wasteful gift can do more harm than good! To point you in the right direction, here are five popular types of gifts for new hires and some specific ideas for each:
1. Branded items to help them feel like part of the team.
Branded items aren’t always favored by existing employees, but they’re perfect for welcoming new team members. If you have any branded apparel or company “swag,” be sure to include it in as part of your welcome gift. You could also add a small logo to something more unique, like an insulated coffee mug, notebook, laptop case, headphones... the list goes on. However, it’s important not to go overboard with your branding. Instead, keep it subtle and tasteful and only include a few branded items along with other gifts. Then top it all off with some beautiful on-brand packaging!
2. Gifts that help convey your company culture, values, and mission.
Another great item to include in a welcome gift is one that helps educate new employees about your company’s core values and mission, such as a book written by your founder or one that inspired your mission. Another idea is to give your new employees samples of your products (or a gift card) so that they can get to know your brand from the perspective of a consumer, which will make them more well-rounded employees.
3. Office accessories to set them up for success.
In 2023, it's important to recognize that new employees may not arrive fully equipped for their first day, so it's crucial to ensure they have the essentials covered. This includes items like a notebook, pens, a mousepad, and any other basic tools they may require. If you opt to provide them with a notebook, consider adding a pleasant surprise in the form of a warm welcome message on the first page.
Furthermore, beyond the fundamental supplies, consider what additional items could enhance their productivity and make their workday more enjoyable. Think about items like a wireless charging pad for their desk or a stylish computer backpack with the message "We've got your back!" These thoughtful additions can help create a positive and efficient work environment for your new hires.
4. Fun items and treats to celebrate their first day.
While welcome gifts/kits are a great chance to include practical items, don’t forget to make it feel like a celebration too. Add some luxurious items like locally-made treats or festive drinks. Or include a gift card to your favorite local coffee shop or lunch spot (with dietary restrictions in mind).
5. Gifts that aren’t really gifts.
Tangible gifts are just one important part of the equation. To make the gift feel more personal and thoughtful, be sure to top it off with a card, ideally one signed by everyone on their immediate team. To go along with your gift, you could also arrange a new employee announcement and/or plan a happy hour or another team gathering to give everyone a chance to get to know one another in a more casual setting. Another thoughtful idea is to decorate their desk with some flowers or a welcome sign.
For more specific new hire gift ideas or gifts for welcoming in a whole team or company to your squad, talk with one of our corporate gifting experts by clicking the link below. We even have a customized url that we set up for whole teams. We can customize your gift box packaging to fit your brand style and guidelines and ship each gift out each and every time you make a new hire!
Things to Keep in Mind When Putting Together Welcome Gifts for New Employees
Here are some tips and important considerations to keep in mind when it comes to corporate gifting:
Ensure your gift is delivered promptly, preferably on the first day. If the new employee is working remotely, plan ahead and send the welcome gift early to ensure timely delivery.
Foster inclusivity by giving welcome gifts to all new employees, including interns. This practice helps prevent anyone from feeling excluded or undervalued.
Pay close attention to packaging and presentation. Make sure they align with your brand and prioritize sustainability wherever possible.
Remember that the welcome gift is just one component of your onboarding process and employee recognition program. It's not solely about the gift itself.
Begin with a more general welcome gift, and then consider personalizing future gifts once you have a better understanding of the employee. Encourage new hires to fill out an employee recognition survey during onboarding, allowing them to share their preferences for celebration, gift preferences, dietary restrictions, and more. This demonstrates your company's commitment to recognizing and appreciating its employees.
If managing the curation, details, and logistics of corporate gifting becomes too burdensome or time-consuming in-house, you might want to explore the option of partnering with a corporate gifting service like Bestowe. This can streamline the process and ensure a seamless experience for both new hires and your organization.
Creating a Warm Welcome for Employees Returning to the Office
While this article primarily emphasizes welcoming new employees, you can apply similar guidelines and concepts to greet existing employees who are returning to the office after leave.
A fantastic method to make employees feel at home in the office again is to organize a team outing or experience that encourages bonding and facilitates in-person connections. Another thoughtful gesture is to provide a wellness-themed gift basket to support individuals during this significant transition (like the one below), helping to alleviate any stress and to show them that you care about their well being.
For more on this topic, check out our full guide on how to welcome employees back to the office post-COVID.
New Employee Welcome Gifts & Corporate Gifting with Bestowe
As you can see, corporate gifting is very important and must be handled with care. Fortunately, our team of corporate gifting specialists are here to help with everything from putting together the perfect employee appreciation gift to ensuring it arrives on time. Beyond employee gifting, we can also help with client appreciation gifts, brand customization, virtual events, holiday gifting, and so much more. We’ll handle all the logistics for you and help you maximize employee engagement! You can learn more right here!
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