When bringing on a new employee, a smooth onboarding process can provide many benefits: stronger relationships between teammates, higher levels of employee engagement, and increased productivity when the onboarding process is organized and focuses on getting new staff members up to speed effectively.
And, with more people working remotely than ever, making sure your onboarding process is high quality is crucial for helping off-site team members connect and engage.
One integral (yet often-overlooked) part of the onboarding process is writing a “welcome to the team” message. While this might seem like a small detail compared to the rest of your onboarding checklist, it sets the tone for the relationship the new employee will build with your company, and conveys clear expectations for the process on both sides. It’s one of the first things an employee will receive after they accept an offer of employment, so don’t underestimate its importance.
In this guide, we’ll discuss why great onboarding is essential to the success of your company, as well as help you get started crafting the perfect welcome notes for new employees—including templates.
Why is a great employee onboarding experience so important?
Onboarding is a new hire’s first experience at your company. It helps them get to know the organization and teams they’ll be working with, and acclimate to their new job. Making sure your onboarding process is top notch is important for a few big reasons: Not only do Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z tend to change jobs faster than their Boomer predecessors, but, according to the Human Resources Standards Institute (HRSI), the quality of an onboarding experience plays a big role in determining how quickly an employee decides whether their new company is right for them.
HRSI notes that a whopping 31% of people leave a new job within the first six months, and half of these individuals jump ship in just two months. Since the onboarding process is one of the first things they go through when they start at a company, it’s safe to say how they felt about this hiring component played at least some role in their decision. A survey from Gallup further backs this up: Just 12% of employees have positive things to say about their company’s onboarding experience.
Finding and retaining great talent is crucial to the success of your company, and these numbers make it clear that onboarding plays a huge role in that. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says the majority of employees, 69%, will stay with a new company that offers a positive, thorough onboarding experience.
3 benefits of a great onboarding process
Here are three more major benefits of making sure your onboarding process is nothing short of the best:
1. It helps new employees forge strong relationships with their managers and coworkers
Especially considering that a large percentage of people now work remotely and are unlikely to meet their colleagues and supervisors more than a few times a year—if at all—it’s crucial to put effort into helping them form bonds with their fellow employees. Here are a few reasons why this is so important:
- Strong relationships with colleagues help people feel like they’re a part of the team.
- Forming bonds shows new staff members they have the support they need to succeed at their job.
2. It increases employees’ efficiency and productivity
Onboarding won’t necessarily be a fast process (Gallup estimates effective onboarding processes take about 12 months due the natural learning curve that accompanies starting any new job), but research shows that a staff member’s productivity will jump from 25% in the first month to 75% by the third if they have a great onboarding experience. SHRM backs this up: employees who go through top-notch onboarding demonstrate 50% more productivity than those who don’t.
Here are a few ways to help onboarding employees get up to speed more quickly:
- Set goals and expectations so your new employees understand their duties and responsibilities in depth.
- Make sure the parameters you’ll use to assess their performance are clear. This enables them to better focus on the steps they need to take to achieve their objectives.
3. It enhances your company’s reputation
One of the best ways to truly demonstrate your business is a great place to work—as well as attract the top talent in your industry—is to ensure your employees have nothing but good things to say about you. The onboarding process plays a big role in that—particularly if it starts before their first day on the job. Research by Digitate shows that over 80% of people are willing to refer others to a company that puts time, money, and effort into pre- and onboarding from the second the hiring offer is accepted.
As you can see, having a high-quality onboarding process is extremely beneficial to your business. And using Rippling, which makes it smooth and simple to bring on contractors and full-time employees alike, can help your organization implement best-in-class onboarding—whether you’re making changes to your current onboarding process or building a new one from the ground up.
There’s one other thing you can do to improve your onboarding process, too: write welcome notes for new employees.
Why a welcome message is a crucial part of onboarding
First impressions are everything. That goes for both the new hire and your company. When an employee starts their first day, you want to be sure they feel like they’re already a part of the team—and that they’re excited about their new career with you.
A welcome message can achieve both of those things. It’s an especially crucial part of onboarding processes now that remote work is the norm, rather than the exception. Receiving a warm, friendly note will let the newest member of the team know they’re not alone, even though they’re at home rather than in an office with all their coworkers. It also sets the tone for a positive employee experience.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure exactly what should go into the message! It’s easy to worry about sounding too stiff and impersonal, or sending something that gives the new hire secondhand embarrassment. Below, we’ll review the anatomy of a great welcome message and discuss everything it should include. Then, we’ll go over 10 examples of welcome messages to help you get started.
Anatomy of a great “welcome to the team” message
While the length of the welcome message is up to you, here are the goals it should achieve.
Convey company culture
Company culture is hugely important to today’s workforce—in fact, Forbes notes that businesses whose missions and values are clearly aligned enjoy 72% greater employee engagement than those whose culture needs work.
The welcome message is the perfect place to start showcasing your company culture. Is your workplace known for its team-focused culture? Make this clear by using team-oriented language in your message and including a few of the upcoming activities your new hire will be included in. Are you all about transparency, openness, and support? Remind new employees they can bring up questions or suggestions right off the bat.
Communicate the role
Don’t forget to specifically state what the new hire’s official title is, as well as which department they’ll be a part of. This helps the employee see where they fit in the company’s overall structure. It also helps define your professional expectations of them, and sets the stage for the conversation they’ll have with their manager about their goals for the first 30, 60, and 90 days.
Show the new hire they’re valued
Showing new hires they’re appreciated is absolutely crucial to employee engagement, which, in turn, is related to productivity, employee retention, and even a strong company culture.
According to the SHRM, people who don’t feel valued by the business they work for are far more likely to quit, suffer stress-related issues that slow them down, or simply be entirely unmotivated to do anything for a company they feel doesn’t care about them. This is a nightmare scenario for businesses that, according to the same article, causes billions of dollars in losses each year. Let the new employee know your company appreciates its workforce and is proactive about showing it by demonstrating how much you value them right in that first welcome message.
Generate excitement about the new employee’s potential
Part of a positive employee onboarding experience is letting the new hire know you’re excited to have them and, in turn, making sure they’re looking forward to hitting the ground running. You want them feeling energized and ready to get going. You might achieve this by mentioning a cool project or two they’ll be working on, or by saying something about the awesome goals they’ll be helping the company achieve.
Introduce them to the team and create relationships
Whether you choose to send the message by email or over Slack, make sure you include some actual information about the team they’ll be working with. This will help the new hire create relationships with their manager and colleagues and ensure they don’t feel like a one-person island.
Some companies choose to set new hires up with one of their other staff members in a “buddy system.” Others prefer to let the employee know who they’ll be working with and let them know each of their coworkers will be reaching out on their own to say hi. However you do it, it’s an essential way to integrate the new person into the team.
10 welcome message examples to send to new team members
Here are 10 ideas to help you get started writing your own “welcome to the team” messages, with short and snappy, and longer instructional options to choose from:
- [Name], welcome to [company name] and congratulations on your new role as [job title]. We’re looking forward to incorporating your skills and experience, and we’re sure you’ll be a fantastic addition to [name of department]. See you on [start date]!
- [Name], just wanted to say we’re incredibly excited to have you on the team. We know starting at a new company can be a steep learning curve, so we’ll be introducing you to [coworker] on your first day. They’ll answer any questions and help you get to know the rest of the team.
- It’s great to have you on our team, [name]! We’re excited to work with you, and we’re looking forward to hitting the ground running and getting your input on [name of key project].
- On your first day, please come prepared with all the paperwork we’ve included in this email, and review the materials we’ve sent to learn more information about [company name] ahead of time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.
- Welcome to the team, [name]. We were impressed by your dynamic, trailblazing approach throughout the whole interview process, and we can’t wait to have you on board.
- It’s great to have you join our team! We wanted to let you know you’ll be receiving an email with your login information, the names of your team members and their Slack info, and other relevant things you’ll need before your first day. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
- Congratulations, [name]! With your skills, experience, and vision, we know you’re going to fit right in at [company name]. Looking forward to your first day.
- On behalf of the whole team, I’d like to personally welcome you to [company name]. We’re thrilled to have you join our team and are truly energized by the potential for our partnership.
- So you’re well prepared for what to expect on your first day, please take some time to review the welcome packet attached to this email. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions; [name] (cc’ed) can answer any questions about the onboarding process.
- I’m delighted to welcome you on board, [name]! Your outstanding portfolio and interviews impressed our team, and we know you’ll be a valuable asset to [company name].
Here’s some more information about next steps. When you start on [date], [coworker name] will be onboarding you and will introduce you to members of the team—especially [name] and [name], who you’ll be partnering closely with. [Coworker name] will reach out shortly with more details.
- Delighted to have you on board, [name]. We hope you’ll feel right at home here. At [company name], we’re all about openness and support. We’ve attached a document that tells you more about our company and its culture, and we’ll be adding you to our Slack channel soon so you can get to know all your team members. Looking forward to seeing you on your first day!
- We are thrilled you’re embarking on the next step of your career with us, and we’re excited to have you onboard for the next phase of [Company’s] growth.
- We know that onboarding at a new company can be a lot to process, but the two main things to remember are:
- Your onboarding session. There’s already an invite in your calendar for your onboarding session on [date] at 9 a.m. [time zone] to introduce you to our ways of working, company leadership principles, and other essential info.
- Your point of contact. [Coworker] (cc’ed) will be your main point of contact so please feel free to email them about any questions you have, and to arrange introductions with members of the team—especially [name] and [name], who you’ll be working with closely.
If you want to create a smooth onboarding process that results in a positive employee experience, you need Rippling.
Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.