Welcoming Your New Employees: Free Swag, the Buddy System, and More

Today is your new hire's first day on the job. You've taken all of the usual steps to get ready for them, and you think you've prepared enough.

But are you welcoming your new employee in the best way possible? Thirty-three percent of employees begin looking for new employment within their first six months on the job. Get your employee engaged from day one, and you won't have to worry about that.

We've come up with four innovative ways you can onboard your new hires to ensure they're happy from the start -- not looking to dart out the door as soon as they get the chance.

1. Free Stuff, Company Swag, and Treats

What better way to welcome your new addition to the team than with free company swag and various treats? Turn your brand new hire into a brand ambassador by decking them out with company gear!

The New York Times looked further into this gift-giving trend and found that glasses retailer Warby Parker offers a top-notch swag package that might inspire you:

"Warby Parker provides a physical welcome packet on the desk of every new employee that includes a number of items important to company history: a copy of Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums (because the company was named after Kerouac characters); an army supply notebook to take notes as the new employee learns about the company; gift certificates for a free eye exam, glasses for themselves, and another pair to give as a gift; Martin's Pretzels because the four founders always ate them when starting the company; and a gift certificate to a Thai restaurant because, when the company was getting started in Philadelphia, the only place that was open late at night was a Thai restaurant."

Free stuff makes your employees happy, and companies with happy employees outperform their competitors by 20 percent. If you take it a step further by adding your own unique twist to the gifts -- like the way Warby Parker does -- you'll have an amazing opportunity for culture-building, too!

2. Assign Your New Employee a Designated Office Buddy

Giving your new hire a buddy to confide in is a sure way to help that new employee acclimate to their new work environment. Have the appointed buddy give the new hire a walking tour of the office. Chances are the designated buddy who was once a new hire themselves will have a better idea about what new employees need to know than the HR department will.

As Drew Curi of Revel Marketing writes, "Ideally, the buddy should have a similar position as the new hire – or should have formerly held that position." That way, the buddy will be more in tune with the new hire's needs at this stage.

We should also mention that 56 percent of new hires say they want to have a buddy or mentor for their first week on the job, so there's a good chance that your new employees will love this tactic.

3. Don't Start on a Monday

Mondays are quite possibly your new employee's -- and all your other employees' -- least favorite day. In fact, one study found that most of us don't smile until 11:16 AM on Mondays. Monday mornings are so unwelcome that most people can't even pretend to be happy!

Instead, think about making your employee's first day a Friday. Fridays are usually more relaxed than the start of the week, and your employees will be excited about the weekend, which could make them more enthusiastic and energetic when welcoming your newcomers.

4. Get Your Employees Engaged From the Start

Only 55 percent of employees feel inspired by their leaders. Don't fall into that trap. Get your employees engaged from the beginning!

How can you do that? Here are just a few possibilities:

- Clue your new employees in on the company's ultimate goals. Goal alignment is absolutely necessary for any employee's success.

- Have your employee's desk ready to go when they get there so it doesn't seem like their first day on the job is an inconvenience.

- Hold an open forum. Let your new employee know that no question is too small to ask.

- Encourage other employees to engage with the new hire. A trivia game related to your new employee and their interests could be a great way to make them feel special and start conversations.


Innovatively onboarding a new employee can make a huge difference in the engagement and productivity of your team, so put your current process to the test. Can you see shortcomings? If not, can your employees identify some? What are you doing right? Take all of this into consideration, and if you find that your onboarding process could use a little sprucing up, these tips are a great place to start.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Click Boarding blog.

Christine Marino is the chief revenue officer at Click Boarding.