We’ve curated a list of the top things to include in the best employee welcome kits to help you get a head start in increasing your employee retention efforts. First let’s take some time to review why employee retention should be important to your business and what topics should be covered during employee onboarding.

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Why Does Employee Retention Matter?

Employee retention is the organizational metric that shows how well a company is doing keeping talented employees in place. It is influenced by the practices that an organization follows to keep employees through a positive experience, practices an organization follows to retain its staff (e.g. through compensation, policies, benefits, office perks, etc.)

Employee experience, from interviews to onboarding to anniversary celebrations, has a much deeper impact to your organization than just positive Glassdoor reviews. By creating an employee experience that incorporates regular engagement, feedback, and appreciation, you can create significant performance and expense improvements for your organization:

  • It costs an average of 6-months of salary to recruit and onboard a new employee. (Gallup 2018)
  • It can take 1-2 years for a new hire to equal the productivity of the employee who left. (Josh Bersin, LinkedIn)
  • Companies with highly engaged employees outperform their peers in terms of customer loyalty (10% increase), productivity (20%), and profitability (21%). (Gallup 2018)

What should be covered in new employee onboarding?

A positive onboarding experience for employees should include the following things:

  • A review of benefits and pay structure.
  • A calendar of all days off in the year and all significant company dates.
  • An assigned “buddy” who will serve as their guide through the onboarding process.
  • A training schedule covering all aspects of their job, including shadowing time.
  • A new employee welcome kit to give them the warm fuzzies right at the start.

What should be included in a new employee welcome kit?

1. Office supplies.

Make sure that an employee has all the tools they need to stay focused and comfortably complete their first few weeks of training efficiently. Things like writing utensils, notebooks, and lip balm can all help an employee feel prepared for several days or weeks of learning.

We recommend tip-in notebooks that include a marketing insert where you can include company mission and vision statements, or important websites and contact information. You could also consider:

2. Necessary tech.

There is nothing more distracting than a dying phone or laptop in the middle of an important training session. Make sure your new employees don’t have to worry about losing touch with loved ones on the outside world by supplying them with chargers to help make it through the day.

We recommend power banks that will allow them to charge anywhere on the go rather than distractedly hunting for an electrical outlet. Instead of branding them with your company logo, try branding them with your internal HR or resource website so they have a reminder of where to go for important onboarding information. You could also consider:

3. Comfort items.

Little things go a long way to show employees you care. Thinking about their comfort level, whether it’s having enough water during a long training session or having some cover if they get stuck in the rain, will let them know that you as an organization care about their wellbeing- not just as a producer but as a person.

The number one comfort item employees need is a water bottle so they can stay hydrated throughout the day. Check out this cool one that has a daily intake meter! You could also consider

4. Snacks and lunch.

New employees don’t know where and when breaks will be provided, so stocking them up with snacks and lunch plans for the first few days makes them feel welcome and less stressed with a full gas tank.

Branded snacks are a surprising inclusion in welcome kits that are sure to delight the new employee. Choose ones that come in a reusable box for paper clips and push pins. You could also consider:

5. Employee apparel.

There’s a reason why Members Only jackets were so popular. Branded apparel has a unique way of making people feel included and like they are a part of something bigger. Giving your new employees a piece of branded apparel on day one heightens their sense of belonging to your organization and eases their mind about what work wear is appropriate for their first week.

Appropriate company clothing varies by organization, so we have created this complete guide to branded employee apparel to help you on your way, showing everything from board room collared shirts to work-from-home athleisure

Download the 2021 Employee Apparel Guide

6. Onboarding activities.

There is a lot of information to take in during the first few weeks in a job. Research shows that stress toys and fidget items actually can help adults (not just kids!) improve their attention span and memory. (The Atlantic, 2016)

Consider creating and printing out a crossword puzzle on crosswordlabs.com to help new employees learn key points of contact and internal systems. You could also consider:

7. Reuseable packaging.

Branded bags generate the most impressions of any other product with nearly 3,300 over the time the item is used. (ASI 2019 Study) By presenting your employee welcome kit in a branded lunch or grocery bag, you are getting double the service by creating advertising impressions.

We like the idea of giving employees laptop bags or computer backpacks depending on your company dress code. They will use the bag every day and take it with them out into the local market. You could also consider:

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