Talent and Recruiting teams are finding it increasingly difficult to manage swag and welcome kits, as most of the world is still working-from-home. In the past, your team probably had access to a swag supply closet to send out welcome kits for new hires, but how can you still scale this candidate or employee experience from your home? How do you make employees feel welcome when they've never stepped foot in the office?
As teams focus on creating a healthy company remote culture, first impressions are important. How will the employee feel as they join this new team? Of course, ensuring your remote worker’s productivity and dedication to their work should be your #1 priority, but how do you kick start that when there are no physical interactions?
What are the best remote onboarding practices?
As a team manager, you should make and practice an onboarding checklist for your remote employees, especially for new hires. This onboarding checklist will help maintain the business’ consistent flow and progress, even with the addition of new hires. New remote employees can also quickly adapt with the help of this checklist.
1. Gift new hires tech equipment and company manuals
Aside from moral support, you can show your support by sending devices that they can use for their remote work. Give it to them prior to a project or task that you will assign them. Ask for your IT/tech people to help set up the equipment if needed. Common hardware that you can give them is a mouse, keyboard, flash drive, and even a laptop.
2. Send company swag bags
The best way of onboarding your new remote hires is to give them welcoming gifts to help them work from home. This will make them feel like they are now part of a team, as there is a sense of company culture tied to the company swag kits. Your company swag bag should include an item from your brand, a welcome letter from your team or team leader, and customized products with your company branding.
3. Help your employee process paperwork
As a new hire, it is a common thing to sign and finish employee contracts and legal documents about work. This activity could be time-consuming so try to ease your new hire’s work by using an online signature tool. It lets them write their signature digitally and prevent any forgery.
4. Help them adapt to company policies
Even though remote employees are not working in your office, they are still a part of the team. Assist them in knowing the company’s culture and adapting to the company’s policies. In order to guide them to their new company, give your remote employees a few items that may help. A complete employee guidebook, presentations about the company’s history, and videos of previous company meetings will surely help them.
5. Teach them how to use communication platforms
Since your new hire works in their home, it is vital to establish a way of communicating with each other. This is the best way to build teamwork and practice proper communication among team members. To assist your new remote hires, provide instructions on how to use your company email, group messaging, video conference programs, and web phone apps.
6. Assign responsible team leaders to remote hires
New remote workers who are not yet familiar with company workflow may get lost after finishing a task. They may not know what to do so responsible team leaders, or managers should help them. Your remote employees should not wait for the leader’s next assignment to them in order for them to work.
The team leader should create a calendar of activities for the new hire to do. Making short-term and long-term goals are also a part of the leader’s tasks. Remote workers should allot time for weekly online meetings to discuss future projects, current issues, and work progress.
7. Let new remote hires meet other employees
As a part of the team, your new remote hire should meet with key people and their team members on their first day. It could be a group meeting conference or one-on-one video calls. The latest recruit should meet his manager, team leader, team members, and other employees from the same department.
8. Provide role-play training
It is a challenge for team leaders in training new remote hires. Since communication is limited, you can train workers by providing interactive online courses like games and quizzes. Videos that explain your company’s brand and products and training sessions for your new remote hires are also things that you can do.
9. Discuss IT activities
Now that remote hires are a part of the company, they should be able to be familiar with different IT activities. Such routines that should be remembered are file-sharing applications and storage backups, computer security, and password management and encryption.
New Remote Hire Welcome Gift Ideas
As a remote employee, you want to feel part of the team even when you're not sitting in an office with them. Welcome swag kits have been a staple for decades now, but as times are changing towards remote work, logistics of sending will change. Gemnote allows you to select, order, manage and ship out swag kits without leaving your computer.
Depending on your industry, different remote workers experience different challenges. You should find creative gifts for your remote employees that they can find useful for their work. There are also minor issues such as distractions, boredom, laziness, and a few unhealthy working habits. So, here are some ideas for gifts to help to work from home comfortably and keep them engaged in working.
1. Good Working Atmosphere
Remote workers usually look for a pleasant working environment that gives them the energy to strive harder. Your gift will help build a comfortable, pleasing, and exciting place to work within their home. Think of the lighting, workspace, and overall ergonomics of your new remote employee’s workstation. The welcome gift that you have prepared should create an atmosphere that dramatically increases the drive to work.
Here is an example of a company that gives this kind of welcome gift bag. Their gift bag contains a Topo Design Tote, Bella Canvas T-shirt, Little Apple Treats Caramels, S'well Water Bottle, Old Whaling Co. Candle, Public Supply Notebook, Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar. All of which are favorable in creating a pleasing ambiance, especially with the Old Whaling Co. Candle.
2. Essentials for Productivity
Aside from the working environment contributing to the energy of the place, remote workers also want the drive for productivity. Better quality work in the least amount of time is what drives remote employees to create a productive work area. A welcome gift that focuses on how you can increase the productivity of a remote employee is highly appreciated.
Items like Laptop stickers, temperature-controlled tumbler, pens, and a comfortable shirt is what you will need to release those creative juices. Gusto, for example, focuses on increasing your productivity. They give welcome gift bags to remote employees that contain Laptop Stickers, Bella Canvas Hoodie Sweatshirt, Bella Canvas T-shirt, 100% Cotton Canvas Tote, Miir Tumbler, Bic Click Pen, and a Popsocket. All of these are useful to increase productivity, especially the Laptop stickers and Bic Click Pen.
3. Inspiration and Work Progress
Just like any other office worker, people working at home also want their career to grow more. Progress in work and career include building rapport with officemates, joining organizations, and learning new skills. These activities are the most effective way to increase your knowledge and enhance your skills in your craft. There are different types of remote working gifts that you can give in this category.
· Office skills
Professionals who want to stay at the top or who want to learn more value gifts that help them expand their knowledge. It is an investment in learning that no employee dedicated to work will refuse to have. An example is a subscription, an online course that trains you to do advanced skills in Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, and other managerial skills.
Giving books as a welcome gift is also an underrated thing to do. Books help people engage more on the emotional level as well as the experiences that they have read. It doesn’t matter if it is an electronic or physical book as long as your new remote hire enjoys it. You can also gift a subscription to a particular newsletter or journal that they religiously follow. You can ask them directly for the name of the publication or subtly ask it during the orientation.
There are remote employees that frequently travel (essential to their role) or go to hikes just to relieve stress and worries. As a team leader, you may capitalize on this hobby of your new hire. This may serve as a personalized welcome gift to them, especially after finishing his first major project. It may not be that much related to work, but it can still serve as a gift to help to work from home.
Mastercard’s welcome gift bag is an example of this trend. They provide the Arc'teryx Puffer Vest, Silo Water Bottle, Ribbed Beanie, Miir Backpack, and Laptop stickers. All of it is very useful for your travels and even mountain hikes, especially the Miir Backpack and Arc’teryx Puffer Vest.
5. Health and Fitness
Working from home means that you are responsible for your own health, and the company is not directly involved with it. As a work-from-home employee, you also need to improve your health and maintain your wellness. Since people are at home, they tend to seek comfort on their couch and avoid doing exercises. It even reaches the point that they binge eat unhealthy food to reduce the stress that they get from work. Here are some welcome gift ideas that you can give them to watch for their well-being.
· Exercise equipment
Gifting a few essential gym equipment may not hurt your wallet, and at the same time, it can serve as a long-time investment. Seeing gym balls and dumbbells on their floors may help boost their willingness to stay healthy and fit. It will not just benefit them but also your company for having a healthy employee.
· Gym membership
Since remote employees work in their own homes, they manage their own time for work. This means that they have the luxury to go to the nearest gym whenever they want to before starting their work. Another creative gift for remote employees is a gym membership card. Not only it helps your new hire stay healthy, but it also lets them feel more confident and focused on work.
6. Entertainment and Convenience
With the effect of the current situation, going outside is a risk that you have to take if you are living alone. You need to do chores such as grocery shopping, washing your laundry, paying bills, and many others. As a remote employee, you are prone to exposure to this kind of situation, so going outside should be minimal. A unique gift idea is a welcome gift bag that gives convenience for daily or weekly chores that you need to do with a little bit of entertainment in it.
An example of a welcome gift bag that prioritizes this is from the company, Android. Their welcome gift box for remote employees include a Cotton Canvas Tote, Bella Canvas T-shirt, S'well Traveler Water Bottle, and Pins. Tote bags are very useful, especially when shopping for groceries, and a personalized water bottle is helpful as well to avoid any contact. They also have pins that can be attached to the Canvas Tote bag to subtly promote the brand, and add designs to the bag.
The Culture welcome gift basket contains a lot of items catered for outdoor chores and activities. It includes an Alpine Division Backpack, Bella Canvas T-shirt, S'well Traveler Water Bottle, Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket, Cotton Twill Baseball Cap, Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar, and a Canvas Tote bag. It provides quality bags that you can bring for your weekly grocery shopping, comfortable jacket and shirt, and a branded cap.
7. Focused Engagement
Many people think that working at home means that you can work in peace and quiet. This may not be the case since there are various factors that can affect this scenario. Examples are dog barks, neighbor’s noises, car engines, construction works, and many other things that produce distracting noise.
As a team leader, you need to think of these possibilities so you will not blame your new remote hire for any unsatisfactory work. Welcome gift examples include noise-cancelling headphones, “do not disturb” signs, and a LectroFan. Both noise-cancelling headphones and a LectroFan prevent any noise that comes from the outside. It allows you to focus more on your work than getting distracted by irrelevant sounds.
If your company is just starting to grow and you don’t have enough budget to make a luxurious welcome gift bag, you can make a practical one. Welcome gift bags containing small calendars, alarm clocks, coffee mugs, and stress balls are a start. They may not be elegant-looking, but still, they are very useful to your work, especially during your breaks at home.
Calendars are useful for tracking important dates to remember, like project deadlines. Alarm clocks should be set every time you rest and take an in-between nap work at home. To keep you from feeling asleep on your couch during work breaks, you can make use of a coffee mug given by the company as a gift. Lastly, if you are having trouble and getting stuck with work, remember the stress ball that the company gave you when they hired you. You will find it very useful in reducing stress, even just for a little bit.
9. Household Chore Assistance
Working, cleaning the house, or watering the plants could be a daily struggle that you have to go through. As a team leader, remember that your new remote hire’s focus is divided, especially when they have not done any household chores yet. An excellent welcome gift for them is to rent weekly household cleaning services for them to ensure that they remain to focus on their work.
Why Give a Gift to Your New Remote Hire?
After hiring a remote employee, giving a welcome gift to give a good first impression is important, especially without physical interaction. Here are some reasons our clients continue to scale out their employee onboarding experience and benefits of doing so.
To ensure that the motivation of your new hired remote workers towards work is there, give them remote working gifts. It will motivate them and get them excited working for your company on their own homes. They may also share about your gift to their friends and families, which makes your brand more known and top of mind.
2. Brand awareness
New remote hire gift bags should be given during or before your remote employee starts with his first project. Most likely, in this age of social media, your employee will post about the gift on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter. This may start a conversation about your brand outside of your company, and a few people could be interested in your brand.
3. Recruitment possibility
When your employee’s family or friends see your remote working gifts, it may spark their interest and curiosity about their work. They might think that your company is an excellent place to work even from their own homes. It is possible that these people can take an interest in your company and apply for a position just like his friend.