Can a free mug transform your new hire’s first day? The short answer is, yes.
A good onboarding program integrates new employees into the office and sets them up for success – and including some free swag in that process makes them quickly feel like part of the team. A basic welcome kit combines useful information – key contacts, office rules, FAQs – with practical items like writing utensils, a water bottle, and headphones (all with the company logo, of course). But when a company goes above and beyond with their welcome kit, they’re making a new hire’s first day all the more special – and developing a committed, loyal employee from day one.
Here’s a look at 5 amazing welcome kits that are raising the bar for onboarding:
Cactus’s desk decor
Denver advertising agency Cactus assembled the components of its welcome box to “help navigate the path to awesomeness.” The kit includes the usual goodies – pen, USB, custom t-shirts – as well as a gorgeous book (it is a design agency, after all) that outlines the company’s history, processes, culture, and values. The coolest detail, though, is the custom copper letterpress: it’s made to personalize the welcome letter, but afterwards it doubles as an industrial chic – albeit reversed – nameplate. “A lot goes into finding great talent,” says Cactus. “When we add a new person to the Cactus family, we want them to feel welcome and know that they’re here to make the agency and themselves better.”
Ogilvy & Mather’s ideology-inspired items
Advertising and PR brand Ogilvy & Mather’s “Induction Box,” by its Cape Town team, is inspired by founder David Ogilvy’s famous eight habits of creative people. “These habits formed the ideology O&M was built on all those years ago and with one item representing each habit, the induction box makes these habits more tangible and playful for new staff,” says the company. Highlights include a floorplan of the office, a slinky, and a copy of Ogilvy’s book.
TAP Portugal’s “welcome voice”
While the components of airline TAP Portugal’s welcome kit are fairly simple, it’s the aesthetics – by Studio Fluor – that make it amazing. The welcome letter from the company president, notebook, lanyard, USB, pencil and pen are adorned with TAP’s company colours and a cheery balloon-inspired motif “with the purpose to make more special and outstanding the first workday of the new employee,” says Studio Fluor. “The identity was created to serve as a welcome voice of the company.”
Percolate’s pre-start package
Marketing technology company Percolate’s whole onboarding program gets ample praise, so it’s no surprise that its welcome kit is equally impressive. Before they even arrive, new hires are sent a package with a t-shirt, mug, granola, tote bag, Kindle, and handwritten letter of congrats. On the first day, the swag is more geared toward the workstation: stickers, notebooks, a mousepad, and more, all in the brand’s signature bold hue.
YourStudio’s potted plant
It’s currently in conceptual form, but PSFK’s and YourStudio’s Cultivate Onboarding Kit is still worth a mention. Described as “welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth,” the kit includes a seedling in a personalized pot. An RFID tag in the vessel links to a “digital tool set” with inspirational articles, goal tracking, and communication and contact info. “By using the app and growing the plant as part of the onboarding process, a worker is rapidly and genuinely introduced to the work culture, which will in turn elicit his-her own reciprocal care, attention and inspiration.”
Looking to start your own onboarding program? Our free eGuide, Onboarding: a practical guide, gives you everything you need to get started, with templates, checklists, and more.