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What Is a Welcome Letter?
A welcome letter contains important information for the new hire’s first day and sets the tone for their time of employment with your company.
A welcome letter is sent from the employer to a new employee. The welcome letter should always come from the hiring manager. The hiring manager will call one week before the start date to welcome the new employee to the team, summarize the information in the welcome letter, and ask if they have any questions. After the phone call, the hiring manager will email the welcome letter to the employee.
It’s also an opportunity to let them know how happy you are to have them on the team. You can do that in a number of ways, from traditional to unconventional.
Traditional welcome letters provide information on everything from a reminder of the documents they’ll need to bring to where to park and what time to arrive. All of that is critical information for the new hire’s first day.
But the real value of a welcome letter is all of the personal touches that confirm to the employee that they’ve made the right choice in accepting your job offer and agreeing to be part of your team.
Going the extra mile in providing a heartfelt welcome sets the tone for the rest of the onboarding process, as well as the sense of team so crucial to a new hire’s sense of belonging.
Benefits of Giving New Employees a Warm Welcome
Making new employees feel welcome helps them feel good about their decision to work with you and speeds their integration into the company.
We know that we only have one opportunity to make a good first impression. Candidates got that first impression of your company when they went through the recruiting and interviewing process, but now that they’re employees, they’ll base their ongoing impressions on how valued they feel once they’re on board. Those impressions will either confirm or negate their belief about their fit with your organization.
A warm and sincere welcome letter that hits the right tone pays off in so many ways.
- It’s informational. We know that providing information about passwords, relevant employee names, and the first day’s agenda is important. But it also gives the new hire a sense of control in knowing how to maneuver on their first day and what to expect so they immediately feel part of the team. The only surprises should be welcome ones.
- It reinforces company culture. Everything about the welcome letter identifies who the company is, what it stands for, and what’s important to it. This is a great opportunity to reinforce company culture in the message, design, and tone of the welcome letter.
- Makes them feel part of the inner circle. A welcome letter is only provided to members of the “club.” It signifies to your new hires that they’re now “insiders” and provides the foundation to build a continued sense of belonging.
- Sets the tone for the working relationship. It costs nothing to write something “real.” Let them know why you chose them, what they can expect in working with you, the hopes and dreams for the team, and the future you envision in their partnership with you and the organization.
In addition to the standard process-related information, consider the other factors that you want to convey to your new hires. You want them to feel that they made the right choice in choosing this job and this organization.
Did you receive a welcome letter from your manager? If you did, how did it make you feel? If you did not, think about how important it would have been if you had received it.
What to Include in a Welcome Letter
You should always include the following information in your welcome letter:
- Congratulations and welcome to the team
- Hiring manager’s name and job title
- Trainer’s name and job title, if different
- Onboarding buddy’s name and job title
- Start date and time
- Address (include cross streets if the location is hard to find)
- Parking instructions
- Dress code
- First week’s onboarding/training schedule (this will ensure that employee understands expectations during the first week)
- Mentor’s name and job title, if included
- COVID guidelines
How to Write Your Own Letter of Welcome
As we’ve mentioned, it’s important to include information that your new hire needs to know in order to be productive and ready to work.
However, it may be even more important over the long term to ask what you want your new hires to feel in their first few days in the role and over the long term.
Get a head start on those good feelings with the first sentence in the letter.
Step 1: Show Your Excitement
Starting a new job is exciting! Don’t skip over the celebration and jump right into the nitty-gritty details of what your new hire should expect in terms of onboarding. Make sure your letter begins with an expression of congratulations and welcome. Let them know that you’re just as excited that they’ve accepted the offer as they are.
Start your welcome letter with a personalized and informal greeting. Use the employee’s name, and include a short message that lets them know how happy you are to have them joining the team.
For an added punch, talk about the reason that they were chosen for the job, the initiatives they will be involved in, the reason that you (or their manager) chose them for their particular skills and talents.
Step 2: Talk About The Company
Next, include a brief statement about the company: talk about the culture they’re joining, and the mission they will soon be contributing to. You want your new hires to remember that they’re a part of something much bigger than themselves
Step 3: First-Day Information and Onboarding Process
In this section, include all the general but important information they need to advance through the onboarding process, as well as how to access or link to any critical information. Provide information for the first day/week to let the new employee know what to expect. First impressions matter! Nothing would be worse than getting your new hire excited for their first day only to greet them with disorganization and confusion when they arrive. Important information to include
- Documents they need to have filled out or expect to be fill out:
- What they need to prove eligibility to work
- New hire forms
- Benefits information or enrollment material
- Start date
- Where to park
- Where to come in/how they will be greeted
- Time of arrival
- Dress code
- Agenda for the first day
Step 4: List Contacts
Provide the names and contact information of HR, their manager, IT, appropriate administrative assistants, other relevant team members or onboarding buddy and invite them to contact any of them with questions. They should arrive on their first day knowing there will be familiar faces that will greet them.
Step 5: Access Info
You may want to include information about accessing the company intranet, specialized software that they’ll utilize in their work, and their login information.
Step 6: Follow-Up Message
On behalf of the organization, reiterate your excitement to have them join the team, and share any closing thoughts about the work you’ll do together.
Other Tips for Writing a Welcome Letter
In addition to the content and tone of the welcome letter, consider how it should be delivered, what it should look like, and the overall message you want to send in the presentation.
Consider taking your welcome letter up a notch by sending a welcome package instead of just a letter. Nothing says you’re a part of the team like company swag or personalized gifts.
- Company swag may include T-shirts, mugs, water bottles, or a notepad with a personal greeting from the manager or senior leadership on the first page.
- Office supplies with the organization’s logo and colors or motivational slogans.
- Real or internal press release celebrating the addition of the new hire to the company.
- Employee testimonials or personalized welcome videos from team members
- Useful gifts that make a statement about the organization’s beliefs and practices, like recycled tote bags
Also, consider the method of delivery for the welcome letter. A personalized, signed letter sent to a new hire’s home carries a special significance.
But some employees prefer electronic communications, so consider both options. Their manager can also send them an informal text message welcoming them and letting them know that they’ll be getting a package.
Try sending a link to a personalized video message from their manager or CEO especially for them.
Welcome letters can (and should) be customized for your organization, and there are multiple samples of welcome letters available online.
We’ve included an example of how a welcome letter might look that will hopefully spark your creativity as you welcome your future new hires.
Sample Welcome Letter Templates
Hello [new hire’s first name],
Everyone at [company name] is happy to welcome you to our team! We look forward to a long collaboration and the opportunity to mutually benefit from the many talents that you bring to our company’s mission.
Please join us at [address/location] on [date] at [time]. We’ve reserved a parking space just for you on your first day at [location]. Please feel free to dress in business casual throughout your onboarding process.
Please bring the following “eligibility to work” documentation: [list].
(Optional) Your orientation will begin at [time]. You’ll be joined by other new team members [first names and titles], and orientation will continue for [# of days or date].
Your teammates are excited to meet with you, so you’ll be the guest of honor at lunchtime with your team. Please let me know if you have any dietary needs that we can accommodate.
Please feel free to contact any of us [names/titles and contact info] with any questions.
To access our company intranet and your department-specific software, please use the following credentials [URL & login information].
[Name], we’re very much looking forward to your first day with us, and plan for it to be a long and enjoyable association!
Hello (New Employee Name),
Congratulations and welcome to (company name)! We are very excited to have you join the team. We strive to ensure that by the end of 90 days, you will be a master in the processes and skills needed to operate with world-class efficiency. It is our goal to help new employees align with (company name)’s brand and culture. [Provide a brief statement about the company’s mission and values)] During your onboarding, you will have both (on-site) and (virtual) training to prepare you for success.
Here are some important contacts who will assist you during your onboarding.
Manager: John Doe, (job title)
Trainer: Shelly Doe, (job title)
Your trainer will be with you for the first (90 days) to ensure you are trained correctly in your new position.
Onboarding Buddy: Mary Doe, (job title)
Onboarding buddies partner with you for the first (90 days) to offer encouragement, answer questions, and provide resources to help introduce you to the (company name) culture.
In preparation for your arrival on (day), (date):
- Come prepared with proper documentation to process your I9/HR paperwork. For more information on these documents, please visit US Acceptable Documentation.
Schedule for the first week:
- Monday (on-site)
- Arrive at (time)
- Dress code is (business casual)
- You will complete your I-9 form (online) with (HR)
- Your onboarding buddy (Shelly Doe) will give you an initial tour of the building
- You will receive your (company name) badge
- You will receive a laptop (if needed)
- Tuesday (virtual)
- Participate in (company name) 101 training
- Wednesday- Friday
- Please ensure you follow CDC guidelines by practicing social distancing, wearing your mask, and washing your hands frequently.
- If you are not feeling well, please stay home and give me a call at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
Feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns prior to your first day.
If you have any trouble (Monday morning), please contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
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Beth has many years of corporate HR and business experience in a variety of business environments. She found her second career writing a wide variety of HR content (DE&I, thought leadership, blog articles, eBooks, case studies, and more) for HR SaaS companies.
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Tiffany is an empowering influencer with an MBA in Human Resources Management and 20+ years of experience delivering innovative HR and business solutions that drive continuous improvement for leading organizations. She creates a positive work culture that boosts employee engagement. She leverages communication, organizational, and conflict-resolution skills to optimize operations in challenging arenas. Tiffany is a champion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and she always reminds others that it’s our differences that makes us stronger together.
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