When it comes to grabbing HR’s attention, candidates are crafting creative ways to promote themselves as eligible employees. And to match that enthusiasm, a lot of companies have started evolving their employee retention strategies. Topping that list is sending exciting company swag and gifts to new hires.
Your company swag is one of the many workplace perks that will attract new talents to your organisation. There’s no rule to designing a welcome package. What’s important is that it should reflect the tone, culture, and ethos of your company in the right way.
An essential part of your onboarding program, a great welcome package helps to make a memorable first impression. Here is a list of helpful things that you can add to your company swag:
An employee handbook
Put yourself in the shoes of a new hire and think of all the questions and doubts they’d have on their first day or week. Now answer all of them in your employee handbook. That’s right, your booklet should have all the essential information that will help new hires to get started into their new role, and your company. This is the first step to make them independent at your organisation by reducing dependency on their direct managers for basic information.
Some important topics to address in your employee handbook:
The company structure
Some aspects of the company culture
Communication channels used by company
Paid time off
And anything else a new hire must know about their role
Ensure every employee gets a copy of your handbook that they can refer to any time. The more fun, and engaging it is, the more effective it will be for your employees to retain the information. While it’s a necessity to have the handbook in a digital format, a printed version adds a nice, personalised touch.
Next on the list is sending all the necessary tools and supplies that will ease your employee’s workflow. You can customise them with your company logo, or have it monogrammed with your employee’s initials. This will make your people feel valuable, while making it a warm way to greet them on their first day.
Things you can include:
🖋 Pens and pencils
🖱 Mouse pads
🗃 Storage boxes
🧽 Cleaning supplies
🪴 Anything that can make their desk look aesthetically pleasing
Brainstorm with your existing employees and ask what they would benefit from. This way, you will have some quirky, unique gift set ideas that your new hires will enjoy, and love to receive.
Tech and gadgets
It’s hard to imagine any job right now that doesn’t involve a minimum use of technology. Whether you’re working remotely or from the office, providing your employees with digital tools and gadgets is always a good idea.
This could mean sending them a new:
🖥 Set of monitors
🎧 Bluetooth headphones
🎤 A microphone
🎥 Any specific tech needed for their job
We suggest you have all the gear ready, and delivered to your new hires in advance. This way, they can efficiently dig into their new job without any interruptions. As a bonus, splurging on new techs, essential to your employees’ role, will just show how dedicated and valuable they are to you. It’s a neat way to decrease turnover in the early months of your new hire.
From a legal perspective, giving these devices to your people ensures all the data is stored only in company-issued tools. You will be at a peace of mind knowing that no data will be lost/stolen/compromised as a result of your employees using personal devices.
Given your budget, and the scale of your organisation, always prioritise giving tools that your people can benefit from. Things like Nintendo Switch, or an Xbox are definitely cool gift ideas, but have them only if your budget allows.
Login details for all accounts
Employee productivity tools like Slack, Google Meet, are hitting an all time high amongst remote workers. This means creating accounts for every tool, and management softwares used within your organisation. For new hires, you can create accounts on their behalf and share that information with them on Day 1.
Let’s take an example of a social media manager who will require access to your company’s accounts across all digital platforms. A safe way to share these details would be via a password management software. Tools like Lastpass or 1Password will allow your people to access hundreds of accounts with just one primary password. This creates a trusting environment within your organisation, and also speeds up your employees’ workflow.
Snacks in different variations
Who doesn’t love grabbing quick munchies while taking a break from work! One of the easiest ways to impress your people is by sending a range of snacks they can binge on. Whether your organisation is working remotely or at the office, giving a bunch of sweets or savoury treats will swipe anyone off their feet.
Our top recommendation is Snacknation, a service that offers customised snack gift boxes for teams and individuals. You can get a one-off package or subscribe to a monthly gift bag - it’s your call. Snackmagic is a similar service, except employees can individually select snacks of their choice.
Books and courses
There is no better way to show you care about your employee’s growth than investing in their learning. Identify, communicate, and buy all the materials that will help your employees excel in their new role. This starts from providing books, or ebooks for an eco-friendly approach.
Always select materials that are centered to their area of expertise.
If you have room for a bigger budget, investing in online courses is also highly advisable. Udemy and Coursera have thousands of courses across different topics - from more general ones to super-niche topics. You can either hand-pick the courses yourself or suggest your new hires to select a course of their choice within a set budget.
Gift cards and coupons
When was the last time you received a gift card? Although a traditional idea, they’re an expressive and personal way to greet your new hires. They get the freedom to choose anything to their liking. For example, if they’re able to focus on their work better with headphones, give them a gift card to an electronics store. For a more generalised approach, you can give Amazon gift cards - there’s absolutely no way you can go wrong here.
An equally good, alternate idea to gift cards is vouchers. Help them to de-stress by gifting them a weekend trip, a staycation in your own city, or even a meal in a fancy restaurant. The sky's the limit here.
A welcome letter (hand-written)
A handwritten welcome note speaks volumes on behalf of your organisation. It presents yourself as a thoughtful employer who is ready to welcome the new hire. The key to writing a successful welcome letter is to make it as personalized as possible. Trust us, you’re better off overused templates and cookie-cutter letters.
In a digital era where people are burdened by thousands of unread emails, receiving a handwritten letter from their direct manager/colleague is a fresh change. It is like a memento your employees would love to keep on their desk or inside a memory box.
A company “swag bag”
While we’re still not sure how cool it is to use the word “swag”, it definitely snuck into the HR world pretty quickly. Swag is anything branded with your company name - including handbags, rucksacks, T-shirts, umbrellas, water bottles, mugs, mouse pads, or anything else that your employees would love to receive.
They’re purposeful, durable, and are a super way to promote your business at events or on digital platforms. Working from home or at the office, having company merch is a nice way to link employees to your organization. You can even get creative with this. For example, play with your brand colours or elements across different gifts. Go forth with any approach that reflects your brand’s identity and culture.
A wellness package
Offering top tier pay, and holidays is cool, but showing support to your employees’ health is next level awesomeness. Keeping this in mind, you should definitely consider including items that encourage an active, healthier lifestyle amongst your employees.
This can include devices such as fitness trackers, gym memberships, training courses like yoga or HIIT, therapy sessions - basically anything that your employees will greatly benefit from.
Since we’re in the middle of a pandemic, you can also send packages to keep them safe and protected. This can include customized face masks, sanitizer bottles, or personal hygiene sets.
Sending welcome packages is a great kick off you can give to your new hires. This creates momentum, excitement, and to some extent, bridges the gap between them and your organisation. A personalised package lets your new hire know that this is just the beginning of many other fun activities to come. Getting off to such a great start builds a new employee’s confidence and reaffirms their decision to join your organisation.
Ultimately, the main aim is to show that you care and that you’re willing to give them an onboarding experience they won’t forget. Speaking of which, there’s another thing you can do to power up your onboarding - sign up for Zavvy! We have a range of tools that will make it easy to engage and onboard your employees, remote or not. Click here to get started today!
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Alex takes care of everything related to marketing and customer success at Zavvy. On this blog, he mainly shares insights gained from discussions with selected experts and from helping our customers set up and improve their onboarding program or learning programs.