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Ten Onboarding Ideas to Make Your New Employees Feel Welcome

In the last 10 years, millennials have developed a major reputation for job-hopping. A recent Gallup survey estimated that the US spends $30.5 billion on millennial turnover per year.  With so much at stake, research is now focusing on why millennials are job-hopping every two years. While there are many reasons, lack of engagement is the most common predictor. This leaves HR Departments scrambling to make a big impact, quick. Since you only have a short amount of time to make sure your employees are engaged, onboarding and early recognition are vital.

New employees begin forming their opinion of your company fast – often before they even step in the door. Starting with your social media presence and your reception area, there are so many things your HR department and your managers can do to make sure you attract and retain the best of the best. Here are ten onboarding ideas to make your new employees feel like part of the tribe.


How Human Resources and Onboarding Departments can help and BONUS checklist

1. Prepare them for day one

There’s nothing worse than showing up on your first day wearing jeans when everyone else is rocking a full suit and tie. #Embarrassing. Communicate to your new hires what to wear, where to meet, what their schedule will look like, and any other pertinent information so they feel prepared and confident on Day One.

2. Plan ahead for their first day

Are all trainers and supervisors aware of the new team member and know their role in his/her training?  They will need to know any important information beforehand as well – name, job experience, and any expectations that have been communicated to the new hire. Give a heads up to the entire team of coworkers a few days in advance that they will have a new employee arriving soon.

3. Load them up on company gear

One of the best ways to help an employee feel like part of the tribe is by wearing company gear. Keep a stock of t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, or other logo’d items near your Human Resources area. Make sure to give your onboardees a few items to wear or display at their desk, installing pride in their new work home.

4. Host a new employee luncheon on a monthly or quarterly basis

This is a great way to introduce your new employees to their department heads, senior leaders, and other prominent figures in your organization in a comfortable way. Cater in lunch, go over any important company information, and have your senior leadership share a little about themselves. Not only does this help retain new talent, but a positive relationship with supervisors and leaders is one of the most important items in creating a great work environment.

5. Ask them about their favorites – candies, books, music, etc.

Asking about their favorites – movies, music, foods, books, or even chatting about your shared love of a pet  – is a great way to let your employees know you care about them as an individual.


Ready to improve your onboarding? Download our free checklist below and give it a try on your next round of new-hires.

Download Checklist




How managers, supervisors, and new teammates can help

6. Have the team sign a welcome card so they can hang it on their cubicle wall

This tip doubles for both the new employee and the team. It allows coworkers a chance to welcome the new employee in a comfortable setting, starting off on the right foot. It also makes the new employee feel welcomed by the whole team from the moment they arrive.

7. Leave a small treat on their desk on their first day

Make a point to leave a small item, personalized to them, on their desk the first day. A favorite candy bar, some words of encouragement, or even a personalized nameplate to help your new hire to feel welcome and appreciated.

8. Ask them to fill out a survey about their language of appreciation

The number one reason an employee voluntarily leaves his/her job is due to a bad supervisor. One of the best ways to stay engaged with your team and build a solid relationship is by recognizing your team members in a way that works best for them. Ask your new hire to fill out a survey about their language of appreciation and make a point to recognize them in that language most frequently.

9. Begin recognition immediately

Did they soar through their first customer interaction? Tackled everything you threw at them with a positive attitude? Many organizations believe recognition should not begin until after the employee has completed the onboarding process (whether one week or 90 days). But as current research points to employees preferring recognition weekly or even daily, waiting until onboarding is complete is often too late. Incorporate your new employees into social recognition programs like Carousel, or recognize them individually through thank you notes and handshakes.

10. Invite them to social events with the team

Whether it’s lunch on Tuesdays at your local burger joint or taking a lap around the building at morning break time, make sure your new employees are invited to join in any team events and activities. They may not feel quite comfortable to jump in immediately, but the invitation will lessen the weight of being “the new guy.”


With onboarding programs, increased efforts towards employee engagement, and a little help from your HR team and managers, your new employees can feel like part of the family from day one. By creating a great employee experiences for your newbies, you can prevent the trend of job-hopping and settle into a state of lower turnover and a happier workplace.

Try out our onboarding checklist below and give it a try on your next round of new-hires.

Download Checklist



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