Dear Ms. Cards Etiquette,
I just took over the HR department at a small business. I’m looking for ways to bring a more personal touch to the way we do things, and while it’s pretty easy to find nice things to do for existing employees (we just started a birthday bonus program, for instance), I’m wondering what we can do to make new hires feel welcome, right from the start. Any ideas?
– HR Newbie
First of all, I think your new policies sound like a wonderful idea! Too many employers make the mistake of thinking a paycheck is all the thanks their employees need. It’s the little ways you go above and beyond the basics that really boost company morale.
Of course, you’ll be investing more in your long-time employees than your new hires, so keep it simple, but personal. Why not send a nice Welcome card to their home address? If the newest employee was hired into an important position, you might include a small welcome gift, like a gift certificate to a popular nearby lunch spot or coffee shop. You could also put the card on their desk, so it’s waiting for them on their first day on the job, maybe with a coffee mug and a handful of pens and pencils, or something else they’ll find useful.
Whatever little “extras” you may or may not include, the important, personal part of the gesture will be the card. Have everyone in the office (or everyone in their department, depending on the size of your office staff) sign the card, with a little welcome message from each person. Then, when the new employee is meeting everyone around the office, they’ll already have names to attach to the faces!
PS. Don’t forget birthday cards! Everyone likes to get a card on their birthday!