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A welcome letter may appear to only be a small part of that onboarding program, but it plays a critical part in the overall process. And standard welcome letters are a thing of the past—candidates and new hires in today’s recruiting process expect to feel welcomed, and even celebrated, before they even start work.
Review the information we’ve provided below to learn more about writing a winning welcome letter.
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.
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
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.
What to Include in a Welcome Letter
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.
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.
2. First-Day Information
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.
- Documents to have filled out or to expect to be filling 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
3. Contact Info
Provide the names and contact information of HR, their manager, IT, appropriate administrative assistants or other relevant team members, and invite them to contact any of them with questions.
4. 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.
5. 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 Template
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!
Questions You’ve Asked Us About Welcome Letters
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