Remote onboarding: How to welcome a new employee
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Remote onboarding: How to welcome a new employee

Welcoming a new employee gets harder when you do it remotely. Generally, recruiters get sweaty while translating corporate values to new talent via Zoom. 

That’s all because the cost of failure is rising along with talent demands. Data says that disguised new hires can easily give up on staying for long. 

Companies that don’t have systematic and scientifically based onboarding see 50% of employees quitting within the first 120 days of employment.

And vice versa: 7 in 10 employees who undergo great onboarding are more likely to stay at least 3 years as O.C Tanner reports.

To help you find creative ways to welcome new employees virtually look at the 4 tactics below. Messages, an employee welcome kit, online coffee breaks, and all the jazz will help you improve an employee journey from day 0. So let’s dive in.

1. Welcome message for new employee

Employees’ eyes would light up seeing warm words in the first welcome email. What to write? Your new employees for sure would love to read honest and lighthearted congratulations along with concise instructions. 

A welcome message for new employees typically starts with such phrases:

  • “It’s awesome to have such a talented new member as part of our team! Hope we can together take new heights. Welcome aboard!”
  • “We’re happy that you join our strong team! We hope to have a long and successful journey together.”
  • “A warm welcome! We are thrilled that you’ve joined our global team.”

At the same time, an employee is curious about how things go at a new workplace. That’s why include the next points in a welcome email for remote employees:

  • What would be in the first few weeks: 

"We have weekly meetings every Tuesday morning at 9 am; please join us!"

  • Description of your company culture: 

"We have weekly meetings with all employees at 2 pm on Fridays."

“Your teammates are spread across 12 countries in Europe and Asia. We love to talk to each other in chat and foster diversity.”

  • Policies around working hours:

“You can start your working day from 8 to 11 am.”

  • What is typical and atypical at work:  

"If an emergency arises outside of business hours, please call our 24/7 hotline."

  • Benefits and perks:

"All full-time employees receive free healthcare coverage."

"Everyone gets Friday afternoon off."

  • Key contacts

Think also about the tone of voice you use to welcome a person. 

To prepare a new talent to communicate with peers, use the tone that fits your company’s work culture: formal or casual. 

Okay, it's done. When should it be sent?

It's considered good to forward a welcome letter to a new employee shortly after a new hire accepts the job offer and before their first official day. 

What you also need to consider is a meaningful gift – an employee welcome kit. 

2. Employee welcome kit

After sending a welcome message to a new employee, take another step forward – send a material gift. 

When new employees receive a real present from you like a T-shirt, they’re more likely to feel: “I belong to the group”. However, shipping a welcome gift for a new employee seems heavy lifting for HRs. 

No worries. You can always outsource the task to an international swag distributor. They pack and drop-ship an employee welcome kit directly to talent. Phew. 

But another question arises: what to put inside a swag box? 

The options are endless. In any case, try to include unique, practical, and meaningful products in an employee welcome kit. Here are go-to ideas to stretch your imagination:

  • For a successful work-life balance

A notebook, fitness trackers, water bottles, a stress ball, inspirational quotes, speakers, a massage ball

  • For outdoor activities for all seasons

Sunglasses, umbrella, one-size-fits-all beanie, frisbee

  • For comfortable work from anywhere

A custom mouse pad, headphones, phone charger, power bank, phone wallet & stand

Whenever you choose, send something that leads to good vibes. Believe me, in the long run, your employee would thank you. 

3. Creating opportunities for connection

Spontaneous relationship-building gets harder on remote. Although you have no real water cooler where remote colleagues could have small talk, you can substitute it. 

Try to host a virtual coffee break or online lunch. Imagine teammates gathering on Zoom for 15 to 30 minutes to laugh and share personal interests. 

However, such meetings are designed not only to have fun. Small talks expand employees’ vision of the company. A new member can freely ask peers about processes, traditions, and failures. 

The perfect place to promote team spirit! 

To help employees get to know each other better, add icebreaker activities: 

  • Playing show & tell 
  • Playing tea vs coffee (ask your employees either/or questions) 
  • Asking meet and greet questions

Believe me, such friendly meetings work like glue. A new team member would sooner feel like a part of a true unit. And you’ll see retention levels get higher and higher.

4. Assign a mentor

To make your newcomer feel less nervous, you can assign a knowledgeable and easy-going buddy to them. Most often it’s not a new hire’s manager. 

Usually, experienced team members play the role of a buddy. They help navigate a newbie through the ins and outs of company culture and tasks.

Initially, arrange a 1-on-1 online coffee or lunch meeting between a buddy and the new hire. It would be a smooth start for his or her working journey. 

If needed, a mentor can walk new talent through a customized learning process for the following weeks or months. 

Wrapping up

Whatever you do to welcome a new employee please, don’t let them feel lonely or vice versa overwhelmed. 

Try to find the right balance between educational and social activities. Still, it’s just day 1 for a new employee. Most probably they've already stressed before it started. 


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