20 Fun Ways To Welcome New Employees

Jun 20, 2024 | 0 comments

Starting a new job with an employer is nerve-wracking, even for the best of us. It doesn’t matter whether you’re embarking on your career or are a seasoned pro. A warm welcome from new team members makes all the difference. It calms those first-day nerves and helps new hires settle in super-fast.

And it also makes sense from a business perspective. According to Forbes, organizations with a robust onboarding process improve employee retention by 82 percent. Even better, the productivity of these new employees is boosted by 70 percent.

Furthermore, employee engagement begins on day one. Onboarding is a crucial way to start engaging with new employees.

If your onboarding process is all about paperwork, it’s time to think again. Here are 20 fun ways to welcome new employees. Get the entire team involved to ensure new hires feel valued and have a positive experience from day one.

We’ve also included some ways to welcome new employees who are working remotely. Finding creative ways to ensure remote workers feel welcomed is even more critical, so be inspired by our suggestions.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive straight in with our creative ideas.

1. Welcome Email

The onboarding process begins even before the new hire walks through the door. Set the right tone by sending a friendly welcome email in advance.

Remind the new employee of their start date and what to expect in their first week. And give them a contact person in case they have any questions.

The welcome email is your opportunity to demonstrate your company’s values and confirm that the new employee has made the right choice. Let them know you are excited to have them aboard and look forward to working with them.

2. Set Up The New Employee’s Workspace

There’s nothing worse for new hires than a mad panic on their first day as you rush around finding equipment and supplies. You want the new person to hit the ground running. So, ensure you set up the employee’s workspace in advance with office supplies and a computer ready to go.

Get existing employees involved by decorating the employee’s desk with a welcome sign, balloons, and a handwritten welcome message. This is a simple way to ensure new employees feel valued and welcomed by co workers and the management team.

3. Create A Welcome Package

Reinforce the message with a specially prepared welcome pack. The personal touch makes all the difference, so customize welcome kits to individual new hires.

Include some company swag like pens, coffee cups, and business cards. The welcome kit should also have relevant company policies and an itinerary creating expectations around onboarding activities.

4. Have A Manager Greet The New Employee On Day One

First impressions really do matter. Ensure the new team member is greeted at the door by senior colleagues or representatives from the HR team. Take them on a tour of the work environment. Explain the office layout and location of various departments. Introduce the new hire to other team members and make sure everyone knows the new employee’s name.

Starting in a new position is a big deal. Make the effort this way, and employees feel valued and appreciated. And it’s the perfect way to demonstrate your people-centered company culture.

5. Prepare An Onboarding Checklist

There’s so much ground to cover when new employees start work that it’s easy to miss something. This can have a negative impact on the new team member’s overall experience.

An onboarding checklist ensures you tick all the boxes. It also takes the stress out of the process for you and new employees. Expectations are clear for both parties. Furthermore, a checklist sends a clear message to the new hire that you have planned and prepared for their arrival.

Check out our post, The Ultimate Employee Checklist, for tips and advice. To help you get started, we’ve also included a downloadable sample checklist. Use this to create an onboarding checklist perfect for your new employees.


6. Name Tags For Current Employees

Remember that sense of panic when you’d forgotten a colleague’s name by the afternoon of your first day? Having staff wear name tags for the first few days does away with that embarrassing problem. It also helps existing staff remember the new employee’s name.

7. Have A First-Day Party

Celebrate the arrival of the new hire with company gatherings like a group lunch, cupcakes over a shared coffee, or an after-work happy hour.

Getting everyone together for a social occasion helps break the ice. New hires meet their colleagues informally and can start building relationships. What’s more, existing staff members benefit from the opportunity to down tools and connect with co workers, creating a solid team spirit.

8. Develop A Fun Quiz

The first day is usually a whirlwind of information and unfamiliar faces. Help new hires make sense of it all with a fun quiz. Set some questions about company policies and history and add a few questions about colleagues.

The new employee will learn relevant information in a fun and engaging way. Furthermore, it will help the new hire feel prepared for the first week.

9. Create A Buddy System

Setting up a buddy system is a surefire way to welcome new team members. Identify a team member to guide and show the new hire the ropes. A buddy program helps employees feel more confident in their new role. They can ask their buddy questions that they may feel uncomfortable bothering their manager with.

10. Start A Mentoring Program

Mentoring takes the buddy system to a whole new level. The mentor sponsors the new employee throughout the onboarding period. A senior colleague supporting new employees builds their confidence and sense of belonging. Often, it’s a more relaxed relationship than with a line manager. And it means new hires have another point of reference for concerns or issues.

11. Hold a Scavenger Hunt

A fun scavenger hunt is a fantastic ice-breaking activity. It can also help familiarize the new hire with their work environment and new company. New employees can be paired up with each other or current employees to encourage bonding between colleagues.

Give new hires a set of clues to locate hidden treasure around the workplace. Examples include a red mug, a copy of the employee handbook, and a selfie with a colleague wearing a yellow item of clothing. Or it could be five different items displaying company logos and branding.

12. Set Them A Meaningful Project

OK, this idea may not be quite as fun as all the others. However, it’s crucial if you want new employees to hit the ground running. Assign new employees with tasks and projects as early as possible. It could be researching a new supplier or helping prepare a presentation for a potential customer.

Getting new employees involved in meaningful work early encourages them to feel part of the team. And it shows you trust them to handle important tasks. The new employee will feel a sense of accomplishment that sets them up for long-term success.

how to motivate employees

13. Send Them Home Early On Day One

Let’s face it: the first day in a new job is an exhausting experience. All that nervous energy and information overload takes a toll.

Encourage new employees to leave early on their first day. They’ll come back on day two refreshed and better able to cope. Furthermore, it shows you are a flexible employer willing to accommodate workers’ needs.

Leaving early on day one may be a small gesture, but it speaks volumes about your company’s values. And it demonstrates just how much you prioritize the mental wellbeing of new employees.

7 Ways To Welcome Remote Working New Hires

Many of the creative ideas we’ve already discussed work well in the context of remote work. Home-working new employees will appreciate a welcome message, buddy program, and welcome pack just as much as office-based staff.

However, making new employees feel welcome is more challenging when they’re not in the same building. You need to work a bit harder to ensure new employees feel part of the company culture when working from home.

Here are seven ways to welcome new employees working remotely:

1. Shout Out New Employees On Business IM

Announce the new arrival with a shoutout on your IM channels. And get colleagues to share their own warm welcome messages. Your new employee will instantly feel like a part of the team.

Alternatively, why not create a personalized welcome video as part of the welcome package? Colleagues can record their greetings and introduce themselves to the new employee.

2. Lunch On Us

Send gift certificates to new employees working remotely for local restaurants. Or order something for them on delivery. After all, everyone loves a free lunch, boosting the employee experience from the get-go.

3. Provide Virtual Tours

Help ensure new employees feel part of the corporate culture with a virtual tour. Show them the office layout and introduce them to colleagues in other departments.

4. Host A Virtual Scavenger Hunt

You can set up a virtual scavenger hunt for remote workers. Instead of finding physical objects, they locate information on your company website or intranet. You could also base the scavenger hunt on fun facts within the intranet’s employee profiles. Not only will you introduce new hires to their colleagues, but you will also help them navigate around the intranet.


5. Fun Zoom Background

Take online team meetings to a whole new level with fun Zoom backgrounds. The new hire gets to share something of their personality. And it’s a fantastic ice breaker, providing talking points for new colleagues to connect.

6. Virtual Happy Hour

Organizing a virtual team gathering works well to meet new colleagues informally. Whether it’s happy hour, team lunch, or morning coffee break, bring new hires together with existing employees in fun, social gatherings.

7. Online Meet And Greets

Help the new team member find their feet by organizing virtual meet and greet sessions. Connect the new employee with other employees in different departments.

Don’t restrict the sessions to only colleagues they will be interacting with in their daily work. Knowing how other teams work enhances their understanding of the organization, especially in a large company.

Fun Ways To Welcome New Employees: It’s Over To You

Remember, onboarding can make or break a new employee’s experience. It’s the difference between a long and fruitful tenure or a costly recruitment mistake.

A warm welcome for new employees is critical. Use our 20 fun ideas to ensure your new hires feel valued and are assimilated quickly into the team. You will reap the rewards of lower recruitment costs, better staff retention, and improved employee engagement.

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