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.
New hires might not come equipped with everything they need on the first day, so definitely make sure that you cover the basics, whether that be a notebook, pens, a mousepad, etc. If you do decide to give them a notebook, surprise them with a nice welcome note on the first page. Beyond the essentials, think of what might help boost their productivity and make their workday more enjoyable, such as a wireless charging pad for their desk or a sleek computer backpack (“we’ve got your back!”).
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 - maybe even add a custom note or quote to a cinema-style lightbox or felt letter board on their desk.
For more specific new hire gift ideas, talk with one of our corporate gifting experts.
Things to Keep in Mind When Putting Together Welcome Gifts for New Employees
Here are some tips and important things to remember when it comes to corporate gifting:
- Be sure to deliver your gift on day one. If the new employee works from home, plan ahead and send your welcome gift early to ensure it’s delivered on time.
- Be inclusive! If you do decide to give welcome gifts, they should be given to all new employees, even your interns! Otherwise, people may feel left out or undervalued.
- Packaging and presentation are key. Make sure it’s on brand and as sustainable as possible.
- Remember, it’s not all about the gift. Think of a new hire gift as just one part of your onboarding process and employee recognition program.
- Keep the initial welcome gift more general, and then try to personalize future gifts once you know a bit more about the employee. Consider having new employees fill out an employee recognition survey as part of the onboarding process, one that gives them a chance to share how they prefer to be celebrated, what kinds of gifts they like, any dietary restrictions they may have, etc. This will help inform future gifts and also let them know that employee recognition is important to you as a company.
- If the curation, details, and logistics are too stressful or time-consuming to manage in-house, consider working with a corporate gifting service like Bestowe!
Welcoming Employees Back to the Office After the Pandemic
Although this article is mainly focused on welcoming new employees, many of the same rules and ideas can also be applied to welcoming existing employees back to the office post-pandemic.
Another great way to welcome employees back to the office is to plan a team outing or experience to facilitate bonding and help people connect in person. We also like the idea of a wellness-themed gift basket to help with the stress that can come with such a big transition.
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!