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First impressions count, especially in the workplace. Making a positive impact on new recruits from their very first morning on the job – or even before that! – sets them up for success and longevity by mitigating any first-day jitters and earning their respect. Effective on-boarding can make or break a new hire, so you want them to feel comfortable, included and valued as quickly as possible, and one of the best ways to do that is have a welcome pack ready for them.
In this article, we’ll explore what a welcome pack is, what purpose it serves, and some of the best items you can include to make the newest members of the team feel right at home.
What are Welcome Packs?
A welcome pack goes by many different names: onboarding pack, employee starter kit, employee swag bags or welcome kits. Whatever you prefer to call it, it is essentially the same: a collection of items given to the employee by their new employer, prior to or upon commencement of their new role. The pack is a tangible “hello!” from your business to the new recruit to welcome them into the team.
Along with information on company personnel and brand values, as well as name tags, uniforms, or personal login info, the pack will usually include various pieces of “swag”, often company branded merch.
What Makes a Good Welcome Pack?
As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts. However, a random collection of items that aren’t useful, beautiful, or actually thoughtful is going to make much less of an impact.
That doesn’t mean that the only way to create a good employee welcome pack is to include as much stuff as possible, or the most expensive items on the market. It simply requires some consideration of your brand, your team, and the message that you want to communicate.
The items that you choose to include in your pack should hit most, if not all, of these key elements:
- Represent your brand accurately
- Send a specific message
- Useful or enjoyable for your employee
- High-quality and/or long-lasting
This makes your welcome pack more than just a procedural gesture. It’s symbolic, useful, and contains items that your new hire will want to keep for a long-time, maximizing their connection to your brand and efficacy as a brand representative.
More than anything, it should make sure that the recipient feels ready to hit the ground running in their new role.
Welcome Packs That Represent Your Brand
As we’ve established, a welcome pack might be what sets the tone for the entirety of your recruit’s employment. You want to make sure that you’re maximizing their positive association with your brand by offering them something that is unique to the company.
However, it takes more than just popping your logo on the front to make a good piece of branded merchandise. Take the opportunity to tell a story about your business, by choosing items that reflect your history, your purpose, and your values. Inspiration for branded gifts can come in unexpected ways, which makes for a much more memorable item.
For instance, new hires at Google are known as “Nooglers”, and so their welcome packs include stickers and tees with that phrase – as well as a rainbow propellor hat that they must wear for their first TGIF meeting! This creative and unique way of introducing new staff not only makes them feel welcome, but indicates to other staff who the newbies are so they can make their own introductions. It creates a rite of passage; something silly but memorable that the employee can look back on fondly. Importantly, it’s a good representation of the Google brand. It’s bright, unique and fun, and communicates those values to not only the employee but also others outside of the company.
Another example is MARS, who includes a pack of their M&Ms and Skittles in the welcome kit for new employees. These sweet treats probably don’t last too long but it’s an on-brand and much needed sugar-hit for someone’s first day!
Maybe your welcome packs aren’t quite so out of the box, but they can still contain enough of your unique flair to make them on-brand. Think about your brand colours, what your history is, and what your company does or provides. Own a café? How about something coffee-bean themed. Construction? Go for something fluro to match the Hi-Vis.
This isn’t just good for brand consistency; it will also make the gift more effective. Recipients generally favour gifts that reflect the identity of the giver, as it makes them feel closer and strengthens the relationship. This probably rings especially true for any new employee who is eager to be accepted as part of the team. Handing them branded merch and uniform makes them feel more connected to their workplace and their colleagues.
Send a Message with your Welcome Packs
You should also consider the type of message that you’re trying to send with your welcome kits. “Welcome to the team!” is pretty obvious, but also consider how you want your new employee to feel, or what attitude you want them to bring to the role.
Lion’s pandemic merch pack is a great example. New and current employees recieved a care package in 2021, with items that they could enjoy with friends and family. This branded merch showed Lion staff that the business was thinking about their well-being during such a difficult time.
Different Welcome Packs for Different Departments
If you have a large or diverse business, it could be beneficial to provide packs that are tailored to each department, especially when it comes to items that your employee might want to use on the job. Would your warehouse workers and your executive team need the same items day to day? Not necessarily. Someone on the warehouse floor will probably find a branded beanie a lot more useful than an embroidered laptop bag.
There could be some overlap – who doesn’t love a keep cup for their hot beverage of choice? – but taking the time to think about how each pack could be made more relevant to each department will demonstrate that you’ve really considered their needs
What to Include in your Welcome Pack
Stuck for ideas on what you can include in your welcome kit? We’ve put together some ideas to help spark your imagination:
Coffee or tea is an important part of most people’s morning routine, so a branded keep cup will keep them connected to the company every day!
Did you know that tote bags are one of the most re-used items of promotional merch on the market? Not only are they perennially useful, they also generate roughly 5800 impressions per bag!
We’ve all got to eat! Help your employees relish their lunch break with a branded lunch bag or box.
Always handy to have around, whether it’s for note-taking, scheduling, or jotting down new ideas. This is an especially useful gift for new employees as a place to keep their notes from orientation and training.
A cheeky way to subtly (or not so subtly!) rep your brand, socks are a fun addition for employees to way on or off the clock.
The perfect companion to a branded notebook, a pen will be a vital tool for nearly all employees – it doesn’t matter how tech-forward you are, it’s always a good idea to keep a pen on hand!
Staying hydrated is a vital part of keeping clear and focused at work, so a reusable water bottle is a handy addition to any desk. Plus, they’re eco friendly and easily branded, and more thank likely to be taken out of the office so your employee can continue to rep your brand.
A little treat can go a long way. A snack or two is an easy way to add something extra to your onboarding kit.
Caps & Hats
A one-size-fits-all winner, a hat is a fun way for employees to take your brand with them whenever they step into the sun. A cap is a great idea for any workers who spend a lot of time outside or on the road, as is a beanie for night-shift or warehouse workers.
Who doesn’t love a hoodie? The perfect companion for a chilly day, casual fridays or WFH, a branded hoodie is a guaranteed winner.
A cute addition to any laptop or notebook, this is a fun and cost effective item to offer employees.
A functional and aesthetic addition to desks at the office or at home!
A charger is super useful gift for any employee, but especially anyone who works extensively with their phone or other devices. Check out our eco-friendly options made with bamboo and other renewable materials!!
Uniforms for Welcome Packs
It’s easy to feel a part of the team when you look the part. Including a uniform in their welcome pack, whether that means their entire uniform, or just a branded polo, means that your new employee can hit the ground running.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to ask for measurements or try and hazard a guess your new employees shirt size – you can integrate your welcome pack into your online store with Total Image Group!
That gives your employee the freedom to order the size that they’re most comfortable with, and will ensure that their welcome pack comes, with uniform included, in time for their first day.
Are you ready to create your welcome pack? Browse our merch range or speak to one of our resident workwear experts to help you curate the range for your business or trade.
Book in a consultation call
Do you need help working out the best uniform range for you and your business? We can help! To ensure we direct you to the best person in our team to discuss your requirements – whether your uniform and promotional needs are now or in the future – let’s learn a bit more about you. We look forward to speaking soon!