How to prep your new employee welcome kit

Two black coworkers shaking hands

4 mins, 3 secs read time

There’s nothing worse than showing up for your first day on a new job to find that no one has prepared for your arrival. No laptop, no desk, no chair – we’ve heard countless horror stories! That’s why the new employee welcome kit is now a standard part of the onboarding experience. Whether you have a dedicated person who oversees employee experience or share the duties among members of your People team, creating a standardized welcome kit can help ensure new hires feel welcome and set up for success from day one.

Wondering what goes into a new employee welcome kit and how to put yours together? We’ve got you covered.

What is a new employee welcome kit?

A new employee welcome kit is a collection of items that you prepare for a new hire to welcome them to your company. According to Greenhouse’s Employee Experience Manager Kara Sang, the goal of a new employee welcome kit is to “Make new employees feel welcome on what can otherwise be an awkward first day, have swag to show off out in the world for employer branding, give them useful tools for their first day and week, make their desk feel a little more like home and feel a sense of belonging, spirit and being valued.” It’s not all business – the welcome kit can also be a little fun and show off some of your company’s personality.

What should you include in a new employee welcome kit?

The first question to answer with your new employee welcome kit is,“What does a new hire need in order to come into work every day and perform their job?” For most employees, this will include equipment like a laptop, monitor, desk, chair, keyboard, mouse, etc. It may also include an access card or key for your building, parking pass or commuter pass. And for those employees who prefer more analog tools, a notebook and pen can definitely come in handy during those first few days of rapid information intake. Still unsure what to include? Check in with existing employees to see what they consider essential. You can also reach out to your new hire a few weeks before they start to ask if they have any particular requests.

Once you know an employee’s immediate needs will be taken care of, try to answer the question, “What does a new employee need to know during their first few weeks on the job?” Here are a few more questions to consider:

  • What’s their schedule for the first day and week?
  • Where are the restrooms, conference rooms, kitchen, break room and other areas they’re likely to visit in your building?
  • Who is their point of contact if they have questions or need anything, and what’s the best way to get in touch?

You can print out a handbook with all the essential information (or make a note of how to access your company’s intranet or wiki page if that’s your company’s approach). Just make sure that new hires are empowered to find the answers to these common questions and know where to go to get additional information.

Finally, ask, “How can we make the most of that buzz that new hires are feeling and show them they’re part of our team now?” This is your opportunity to include items that show off your company’s personality and reflect your culture. When it comes to company-branded swag, you can start small with items such as stickers or notebooks. You can also go for something with a bigger impact like a hoodie or backpack.

To add some fun and personality, consider other items that demonstrate your company’s values. This could be a Kindle that’s pre-loaded with books that are particularly meaningful for your company’s founders. It might be a few gift cards to local coffee shops to encourage new hires to ask coworkers out for a quick break to build camaraderie. Maybe it’s an Amazon gift card so they can purchase a plant or a piece of art to customize their workspace. Again, if you’re unsure, talk to more established employees to get their advice.

Here’s what we currently include in the Greenhouse new employee welcome kit:

  • Laptop
  • T-shirt
  • Mug
  • Mints
  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Stickers
  • Keycard holder
  • Booklet with onboarding week schedule and company overview
  • Instructions for activating access cards
Greenhouse new hire welcome kit

Here's what the new employee welcome kit currently looks like for new hires at Greenhouse.

The welcome kit is just the beginning

The welcome kit is just one part of a comprehensive onboarding experience. Be sure to think holistically about what your new hires will think, feel and need during their first few weeks. Anticipating what they’re likely to experience will help them feel welcome from the beginning.

Need a little help planning your new hire onboarding? Download a copy of our New Hire Onboarding Guide.

Get the guide
Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.