Does anyone send/give out a “swag box” to new hires? If so, what do you include in it? Do you give it on their first day or mail it out before hand?
Surprising and delighting employees before they have even commenced is a great way to connect before day one. We send out a welcome pack 2 weeks prior to them commencing. Inside includes socks, a pin, stickers, notebook and a personalised note.
We also set up their desk on day one with a few different pieces of swag and let them select a t-shirt in their first week to ensure it’s the correct fit.
I think it can be really helpful to provide things that emphasise good habits that align with your culture. For example you might give people a timer for their desks that encourages them to work in concentrated spurts with regular breaks like a pomodoro technique timer. Or you might give them a branded sports towel for them to keep at work to encourage some exercise or activity.
I can attest to how awesome it is to have a desk set up and ready! Here is my Linkedin post from my first day at Culture Amp
Something that we did too before we joined was choose our Mac, keyboard, and mouse preferences. There were only a handful of options, but it was really empowering and set the tone around both autonomy & trusting people to make decisions (one of our values at Culture Amp)
I received a lot of great Culture Amp and People Geeks swag when I started, but what actually made me the happiest was the random, non-branded rubber ducky Riley slipped in the box for me… It wasn’t about me wearing the brand, it was just about making me smile and that really hit home for me. It made me feel like there are other weirdos out there and like I had just received permission to be my fullest weirdest self.
Also, microfiber glasses/screen wipers are always great.
We also set up the office, computer and email prior to arrival. I also give all new hires a Take Five Candy Bar and leave a little note to remember to Take Five for themselves.
When I run workshops I have table toys for people who like to fiddle or doodle to help them concentrate. The most popular that always go missing are the giant springs (also known as slinkies) and the bendy people so those might be worth considering.
I personally love a journal that will help me with my productivity. I use the Best Self Journal so would always be happy with any gift that included one but there are lots of other brands too.
When I worked for ME Bank, we used to give all new starters a pair of “Moonwalkers”. These are black, high top converse Chuck Taylors branded with the ME logo. They were a great way to make people feel part of the tribe and looked amazing when you’d see everyone walking around the office and outside wearing their “moonwalkers”. They were a tribute to one of the ME core values of “Go to the Moon”. I haven’t worked there in 2 years but I still wear my “moonwalkers” with pride.
We give new hires a moleskin journal to take notes in. This is especially helpful for their first 30 days, where we encourage them to write feedback on their onboarding experience, plus any questions or feelings that we can talk through at their 30 day feedback session. We also have coffee mugs, which is a great way to start their day, walking them to the kitchen for a cup of tea or coffee!
How on earth does one find companies that do things like this? I’ve had to fight to convince bosses that we should even send a postcard a few weeks in advance to say “we are really excited and we can’t wait to have you join our team.” The past few companies I’ve worked at had nothing set up for new staff, meaning that either the staff had to bring their personal laptop (without their manager telling them this), or that the first task the new employee had was to set up a workstation. Naturally, turnover was high at both of these organizations.
It is easy to go to LinkedIn or any other job hunting website and filter by industry or role, but how can I filter by culture? I would LOVE to find an organization that does these things and cares about it’s people.
Given we’ve just entered the arena of ‘automated’ on-boarding, we send out a small questionnaire that asks a variety of questions - including some snack based queries. So new hires have their favourite sweet/candy/savoury/fruit snack on their desk as well as a mug/water bottle and a gift card for their favourite local coffee/sandwich shop.
We also hand out branded notebook, pen, laptop case, screen-wipes and a few other small goodies.
Sad, but very true. You should work for a government agency… revolving door and ‘you’re on your own’!