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New Hire Gifts

First impressions are important, especially when you’re hiring new employees. You want to make sure that new hires are walking into their workspace on their first day feeling welcomed, excited, and confident in their new job.

You’ve already vocally shared the company’s values and culture with your new hire, but how can you truly show off these values while they’re first getting started? How can you instill excitement and motivation in your new hires to help them hit the ground running and want to talk about their new job with their friends? Turns out there is one thing you can add to a new employee’s onboarding experience to help in all of these areas: new hire gifts!

What Are New Hire Gifts?

New hire gifts (AKA welcome kits, swag bags, or onboarding packages) are a collection of gifts from the company for new or incoming employees to help them feel welcomed and excited about joining the organization. The package usually includes company-branded items that the new employee could use on the job, like notebooks or coffee mugs. But really, new hire gifts could be anything the company feels would help the employee feel included and happy about being hired.

New hire gifts can be given to employees in-person, on their first day , or delivered prior to their first day. Some companies do both by splitting up the gift.

Tips for Making New Hire Gifts

  • Be strategic. Select items that portray your company culture. Avoid less useful swag that is more likely to be disregarded or thrown away.
  • Personalize. The more personalized the gift, the more valued the employee will feel. Gifts can be personalized to the department, team, or individual level.
  • Be inclusive. Make sure you’re not favoring or excluding any groups of people. If gifts vary across departments or teams, make sure they’re all the same value. Also, keep gifts gender-neutral, unpolitical, etc. Be sensitive to different cultures and ethnicities.
  • Make the packaging attractive. Again, think of the message you’re expressing.
  • Use your company branding. There are many businesses that can print customized swag with your company’s colors and logos.

Benefits of Welcoming New Hires with a Gift

Here are some of the specific benefits of new-hire gifts:

  • Welcomes and celebrates the employee. New employees love being recognized and valued. They’ll feel like they’re important and critical to the organization’s success, which keeps them motivated.
  • Bolsters excitement. Newly hired employees are often already excited for their first day with the new company, and sending company-branded gifts will add to the fire. New hire gifts confirm their new employment and prompts them to envision working there. They’ll be excited and ready to hit the ground running.
  • Reinforces company culture and brand. This is an opportunity to show off what your company is all about. Send a coffee mug with a funny quote printed on it to communicate your comfortable, laid-back atmosphere. Or send blue-light filtering glasses to communicate how you value ergonomics and safety. It also sets an example of generosity and kindness for the new employee to follow.
  • Helps employees feel part of the team. When new employees can wear the same company t-shirts as their team members, they’ll feel included and more team-oriented. Making sure everybody has common company swag helps ensure nobody is left out.
  • Employees will brag to their friends. New employees surprised and excited about their new hire gifts will often post pictures of the gifts on social media. This helps spread your employer brand and introduces your company to even more people!
  • Retention and talent acquisition rates will improve. When employees feel valued, they’re much more likely to stay with the company. Also, people outside of the organization will gravitate towards it when they see how much the company cares about their people.

25 Impactful New Hire Gift Ideas

Here are some impactful new-hire gift ideas that you can implement in your own organization, categorized into five different sections.

1. Gear to Make Their Jobs Easier

Think about the specific job or department that the new employee is entering, and give them items that will help make their job easier. They’ll appreciate not having to go out of their way to purchase the gear themselves.

  • Office supplies. Show that you’re setting them up for success by giving them things like notebooks, sticky notes, calendars, or pens.
  • Headphones. For jobs requiring regular video calls or periods of time “in the zone,” headphones can be helpful.
  • Laptop case. If your new hires are expected to carry a laptop around with them, help them out by providing a company laptop case.
  • Mousepad. Mousepads are easy to put your company logo on, and make using computers more comfortable for workers.

2. Apparel

Company-branded apparel will not only help employees feel more connected to the team and organization, but your company brand will be spread wherever they wear it.

  • Shirt/jacket. You can help communicate the dress code through the shirts and jackets you give out, whether it’s casual or more formal. The better the quality, the more likely your employees will wear them outside of work.
  • Backpack. Everyone uses backpacks somehow. Types of backpacks vary from traditional backpacks to drawstring bags to messenger bags.
  • Hat. Baseball caps, flat-brim hats, or beanies are used by lots of people.
  • Socks. Company-branded socks can show off a casual or even somewhat goofy company culture.

3. Office Accessories

There are a variety of desk accessories that workers will be happy to use in the office.

  • Coffee mug. Show your employees that morning coffee fits right into the office atmosphere.
  • Water bottle. A quality water bottle helps your workers stay hydrated and encourages less plastic usage.
  • Nameplate. Nameplates can help your employees feel important, and that their job is set-in-stone and the “real deal.”
  • Insulated lunch bag. If your employees bring their own lunch to eat in the office, giving them lunch bags will make it even easier.

4. Company Culture Gifts

This is your chance to communicate your company culture and values through gift-giving. Think about the messages you are giving  through the items you (as the employer) choose.

  • Personalized note. Personalized, hand-written notes from executives, the employee’s manager, or their coworkers will help them feel valued and included.
  • Company product or coupon. Obviously not all businesses have cheap, tangible goods or services that can be given to their employees as new hire gifts, but some businesses can! It could be a cheap and easy way to show your workers what you’re about as a business.
  • Wellness gifts. If wellness is important to your company, consider providing gifts like yoga mats, essential oils, or healthy snacks or drinks.
  • Environmentally friendly gifts. Show off how environmentally friendly your company is by offering any of these suggested gifts in planet-friendly forms, such as items produced from recycled plastic or items that are biodegradable.
  • Books. Give self-help books that teach new employees how to practice specific values or skills that are critical to your company’s mission or the job role, like leadership, sales, or innovation.

5. Other Gifts and Goodies

The list of meaningful gifts that you could give new employees is practically endless, but here are some more popular ideas.

  • Treats and snacks. Everyone appreciates a quick snack break while at work.
  • Stickers. Offer neat and creative company stickers that employees can place on their water bottle, laptop, or notebook.
  • Blanket. Blankets are thoughtful gifts that anyone would appreciate.
  • Scented candles. Send the message you want them to have the chance to unwind and relax with a scented candle.
  • Gift cards. Get creative with the stores or restaurants you give your employees gift cards to.

Even if you have little to no budget for new hire gifts, there are still ways you can help your employees feel cared about through welcoming experiences. Set some balloons at their desk with a hand-written note, have their manager take them out to lunch, or ask members of their team to stop by their desk and introduce themselves. Remember, it’s more about helping them feel welcomed and valued rather than finding the most expensive gift.

What the Best Companies Are Giving Their New Employees

Here are some companies you’re probably familiar with and what they’ve given their new hires.

Nike

This Nike welcome box keeps things neat and simple. The box is stamped with a welcome message, and inside is a mug, a calendar with a stand, and earbuds.

Amazon

Amazon welcomes their employees with a t-shirt, keychains, a notebook, and stickers branded and packed in a drawstring bag.

Unilever

Unilever doesn’t hold back in sharing a variety of company products. Along with the company computer, they hand out a multitude of their health and hygiene products, as well as some healthy snacks.

Bosch

All in a nice-looking backpack and box, Bosch gifts new employees with a fun note, a headset, mouse, water bottle, notebook and pen, name tag with a lanyard, and even what looks like a soap (or hand sanitizer?) dispenser.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About New Hire Gifts

How much should we spend on gifts for our new hires?
Many new hire gifts range from $50-$100. Factors to consider when deciding on how much to spend on new hire gifts include company culture, turnover, job demand, and industry. Higher budgets for new hire gifts could be part of strategies surrounding culture, talent acquisition, or retention, depending on the needs of the business.
Should every employee get the same kind of gift?
Yes and no. Gifts can be personalized to the employee’s department, team, or to them individually. Personalization can help new employees feel more valued. However, you should make sure all the gifts you’re giving are of equal value across the company. More desirable gifts given to specific employees will make their coworkers think they themselves are less important or valued. If gifts differ, they should differ in only small ways: maybe with a personalized note or a small widget unique to the team.
Brandon Fluckiger

Brandon Fluckiger

Brandon is currently an MHR/MBA student attending Utah State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with three minors in HR, Business Management, and Technical Sales Management. He has experience as an HR generalist as well as in recruiting, data analytics, and talent development. He exercises his strong passion and commitment for HR by volunteering in leadership positions for his MHR cohort, participating in local SHRM chapter activities, and taking on every HR-related experience opportunity that presents itself.

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