Welcome to the Team: Create an Impactful Onboarding

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Welcome to the Team: Create an Impactful Onboarding

“Welcome to the team” – it’s a phrase that carries a lot of weight for a new employee. Hearing these words from HR on an employee’s first day sets the tone for the rest of their experience at your organization. 

A meaningful and well-organized employee welcome can have a significant impact on how new hires feel about their decision to join the organization. HR plays a critical role in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment that helps new employees feel valued and supported. 

In this article, we’ll explore some practical tips and best practices on how HR can create a meaningful employee welcome to foster a positive and productive workplace culture.

The value of a warm welcome to the team
How to welcome a new employee to the company
1. Send a welcome to the team email
2. Prepare for the new employee’s arrival
3. Create a great first day employee experience 
4. Structure the first week of onboarding
5. Conduct a 30-day check-in 

The value of a warm welcome to the team

It’s important to make new hires feel welcome and appreciated – both before and on their first day. Research shows that 86% of new employees decide whether to stay with their new organization within the first few months. It’s a critical period and will shed light on the quality and value of your onboarding program.

Whether new hires feel supported during their early days will have a significant impact on retention. If you care about improving employee performance and business outcomes, investing in onboarding is imperative, yet only 12% of employees agree strongly that their organization does a great job onboarding new people. 

But here’s the thing: employees who have a positive onboarding experience are almost three times as likely to feel supported in their role, boosting their confidence and improving their ability to perform their role well. Making new employees feel welcome will result in loyalty and retention and will be reflected in your bottom line.

How to welcome a new employee to the company

Welcoming new employees is a process that sets the tone for their relationship with the company.

Here are the key steps that you can take to ensure a smooth and welcoming experience for new employees.

1. Send a welcome to the team email

A welcome email for new hires is a great way to welcome them to the company, share information and introduce your new employee to your company culture. Remember to make your email warm and welcoming.

It should include the following key information:

  • Role and team or department
  • Starting date
  • Work hours
  • Documentation to bring on day one, such as their social security card
  • Break room information
  • Parking information
  • Arrival instructions, such as meet at reception
  • A schedule for the first day
  • Information on onboarding schedule
  • Important contact information

In addition to sharing information, a welcome email is a great way to make your new hire feel comfortable and appreciated. It’s equally important for managers to welcome new employees too, so they feel valued on – and before – their first day. Managers may want to use the opportunity to introduce the employee to other members of the team and to the broader company culture.

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Below is an example of a welcome to the company email from HR.

Standard new employee welcome email template

Email subject line: Welcome to [name of company]

Dear [employee name],

We are thrilled to welcome you to our team on [date]. [Name] will meet you at our reception desk at [time]. Please remember to bring your ID and social security card.

You’ll be shown your office/workstation and introduced to co-workers and other members of your team.

Your colleagues are looking forward to meeting and we have planned a lunch for your first days so that you can spend some time getting to know each other.

We have planned a thorough onboarding program for you so you will quickly become familiar with the organization and feel integrated into the company culture. Most importantly, we want you to feel at home.

We’d like you to feel comfortable and confident in your new work environment so please let us know if there is anything specific that you need.

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Company example of a welcome to the team email

Creating a memorable onboarding experience begins with your welcome to the team email. Take a look at how Brad Smith welcomed new employees to Intuit.

HR pro tip

  • When writing welcome emails to new employees, provide them with important details about what they can expect when they arrive, including start date reminder, documentation required, parking information, and an outline of what their first day or week will look like. 
  • To make them feel excited about their new job, your tone should be welcoming and helpful and should reflect your company culture.

2. Prepare for the new employee’s arrival

As an HR professional, one of your most important roles is the recruiting and onboarding of new employees. To set up a new hire for success from the start, make it easy and seamless for them to settle in – whether they are office-based, remote or hybrid workers.

Announce the hiring of the new employee and let everyone, including the management team, know when they are starting and in which position. Include brief information about previous employment, education, and interests. Ask others to welcome and show support for your new employee.

Your new hire checklist:

  1. Complete all new hire paperwork
  2. Provide a welcome letter/email from the CEO
  3. Order all office and tech equipment and ensure it’s ready on day one
  4. Arrange office/remote access
  5. Set up access to email and all software/platforms and create logins
  6. Set up introductory meetings, social catchups, one-on-ones with team members to enable everyone to get to know each other
  7. Prepare the line manager and help them create the 30-60-90-day plan for successfully onboarding new employees
  8. Schedule training to help your new employee learn the company’s mission, vision, strategic goals, and priorities, and to understand performance expectations.

When onboarding hybrid or remote workers, establish which days the new employee will be onsite versus working remotely. They may have flexibility to choose their on- and off-site days, in which case you may want to advise them to be in the office on the same days as their manager so that they get as much face-to-face contact as possible while learning the ropes.

Communicate with the new employee before their first day and schedule a virtual meeting to provide an overview of the company culture and share any necessary onboarding information.

Schedule virtual introductions with the new employee’s team and other key stakeholders. Arrange for a casual lunch to be delivered to everyone involved. This will help your new hire feel more connected and integrated into the company culture.

Company example of how to welcome new employees:

How IBM welcomes new employees:

HR pro tip

  • Welcoming new employees is a critical process. Assigning a mentor to your new hire provides friendly support and helps them through the transition to a new work environment. 
  • Their mentor can help them understand how processes and events fit into the big picture, and how to prioritize tasks. 
  • Having a mentor to speak to can help ease the uncertainty the new employee may feel when they join a new team.

3. Create a great first day employee experience 

Just as you’ll be evaluating whether they are going to measure up, new employees are making up their minds about whether your company is a place they can see themselves working at for a long time – or not. They will often make their decisions of whether their new company was worth the move or not during their first day on the job.

Creating a good first impression with new employees is important. It sets the tone for their entire experience with the company. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says we initially make two decisions about people we meet for the first time evaluating these two metrics: trustworthiness and confidence. 

These account for 80 to 90% of an overall first impression. If you’re not prepared for the new employee, their first impression may be one of disorganization, as well as lack of confidence and trust in you on their part.

Here is a first-day checklist:

  • Have a clear plan: Include orientation activities, introductions to key team members, and training sessions. This will help new employees feel like they are part of a structured process and that their time is valued.
  •  Be there to meet the new employee: Greet them warmly when they arrive and take them through the plans for the day. Introduce them to their colleagues.
  •  Ensure their workspace is ready: The quality of a workstation can have a big impact on productivity levels.  Make sure they have a comfortable workstation and access to the tools and equipment they need for the job.
  •  Provide a welcome package: There’s no better way to make a new team member feel welcome than giving them a gift during orientation. Include company swag such as coffee mugs, water bottles, caps and pens. Include your employee handbook and any other materials that will help them get familiarized with the company.
  • Tell them what’s expected: Ensure they are familiar with their job duties, performance expectations, and company culture. Give them information they need about their KPIs and expectations in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using jargon or acronyms that may be unfamiliar.

Company example of first day’s at well-known companies 

First day at Google:

HR pro tip

  • Demonstrate your own enthusiasm for the company. Showing that you are passionate about the organization, the work, and the team can be contagious and help new employees feel excited about their new workplace.

4. Structure the first week of onboarding

Keep the momentum going during week one. The onboarding process can be lengthy, but the result – an engaged, productive team member – makes it worthwhile.

Here is a general guideline for structuring week one of employee onboarding:

Day 1:

  • Provide an overview of the company’s mission, vision, and values, and explain how the new hire fits into the organization’s structure. Take the new hire on a tour of the office, showing them where essential facilities are located.

Day 2-3: 

  • Provide an overview of the new hire’s role, responsibilities, and goals for the position. 
  • Company culture: Explain the company culture, norms, and values, and provide examples of how they are put into practice. 
  • Provide training on specific job-related tasks and tools that the new hire will be working with. 
  • Set up meetings with other team members or departments to give the new hire an opportunity to learn about their role and how they fit into the larger picture.

Day 4-5: 

  • Provide opportunities for the new hire to shadow experienced team members and meet with mentors.

Wrap up: 

  • Summarize the week’s activities and ask the new hire for feedback on their onboarding experience. 
  • The more specific your questions you ask, the more direct and targeted their responses will be, helping you to develop the plans you have in place for the next few days.

Now more than ever, people seek personal value and purpose at work. Relationships, a strong sense of community and purpose-driven work are essential to thriving. This is the value that employees expect from employers, and you need to deliver on that right from the word go.

Walk them through a 30-60-90-day plan to lay out a clear course of action during the first 30, 60, and 90 days of their new job. By setting concrete goals at each stage of the plan, you can make the new hire’s transition into your organization seamless and empowering. Remember to have a one-week check-in to make sure that they are comfortable, happy, and engaged.

Company example of the first week of onboarding


Below illustrates what is typically covered in the first week at Salesforce:

A typical first week onboarding process at Salesforce
Salesforce first week onboarding process

HR pro tip

  • More than 70% of employees say their sense of purpose is defined by their work. Like it or not, your company plays an important part in helping them find their purpose and live it.
  • The biggest way to prevent disengagement is to improve the employee experience from day one, enabling them to feel valued and appreciated and that their work has purpose.
  • The first week is all about making sure your new hire is invested in the culture of the organization and reinforcing the value you see in them.

5. Conduct a 30-day check-in 

The 30-day check-in assesses the new employee’s progress, job satisfaction, and acclimatization to the organization. It’s usually conducted by the employee’s manager and is intended to provide the new employee with an opportunity to ask questions, share feedback, and receive any necessary support to ensure a smooth transition into the organization.

The new hire and their manager will discuss the employee’s job responsibilities, expectations, and goals and provide feedback on the employee’s performance so far and answer any questions or concerns the employee may have. The check-in can help identify any potential issues that need to be addressed early on, such as training needs or conflicts with colleagues.

Overall, the 30-day check-in is an important part of onboarding and helps to ensure that the new employee feels supported, engaged, and equipped to succeed in their new role.

Encourage managers to actively check in with new employees at 30 days. Also, set up a 30-day check-in between HR and the new employee to understand what they feel about the onboarding experience so far. This is a great opportunity to gain insights into your process and evaluate where there is room for improvement. 

A 30-day review checklist:

  1. Is the job what the employee expected it to be?
  2. Do they have access to all of the information, tools, and resources needed to meet their objectives? Have there been any roadblocks?
  3. Is there any further training they would like?
  4. Have they felt welcomed by their new team and is communication a simple process?
  5. Have they liked the company culture so far? What could be improved?
  6. What is their opinion of the onboarding process and are their any areas of improvement? 
  7. What would they like to accomplish in the next 30 days?

HR pro tip

  • Choosing the right questions to ask new employees is crucial to an effective 30-day review. The best way to approach the review is by asking questions one-on-one. Choose your questions specifically and use them to lead the conversation, while giving the new hire the space to talk.

Key takeaways

  • Make a lasting impression: Welcoming new employees is a critical process for any organization, as it sets the tone for the employee’s relationship with the company. Make sure you invest in a comprehensive onboarding program.
  •  On day 1: On the first day, introduce the new employee to the company culture, policies, and procedures. Include job responsibilities, benefits, and any other important information. Assign a buddy who can assist the new employee with any questions they have.
  •  Keep communicating: Maintain ongoing communication with the new hire to ensure that they are adjusting well to their new role and the workplace. Include regular check-ins, performance reviews, and opportunities for feedback.
  •  The 30-60-90-day plan: A well-designed 30-60-90 day will help new employees set goals and strategize their first three months in the new job. Use it to provide structure and direction, define processes and expectations, and lay out a clear course of action for the new hire.
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