How to write onboarding welcome email

How do you write a welcome letter for a new employee to make them feel like home in the company, right from the preboarding stage?

In online marketing, people who receive a welcome message after registering on the site show 33% higher brand engagement. Onboarding is part of your employer branding. Take care of it.

Recruitment is over. The new person will soon appear in the office. In principle, from the day the conditions of cooperation are agreed upon, onboarding begins, of which the most important element is good communication. The welcome message is one of the basic onboarding tools, used almost always and on many levels. Find out how to do it right.

You will learn from this article:

A welcome email at a new job - what for?

The purpose of sending a welcome message to a new employee or to a member of an organization is:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety,
  • Building a positive emotions for the employee (employee experience) right from the start,
  • Maintaining or reinforcing engagement, which will reduce the risk of quitting before or just after starting a job,
  • Facilitate entry into the organization by beginning onboarding at the culture and relationship level.

As you can see, the goal is not simply to provide basic information about the company. It's a message that:

  • Shows how important the new employee is to us (this is why it's a good idea to avoid the word "congratulations" - because it's not us congratulating the employee on their success that they got in, we should be congratulating ourselves that we found such a fantastic person!)
  • Introduces the employee to the vocabulary used in the company and its values (the vocabulary we use will "set" the way we look at the company and the whole team),
  • should make employee happy to be starting to work for us (and not think "oh my gosh, what have I gotten myself into...").

Is just one welcome email enough in the onboarding process?

At Woonity, we are fans of embedding actions precisely just in time. Sure, you can send an employee just one welcome email, but in most cases it will be too long, overloaded, and provide information and content that the employee doesn't need at given moment.

A person entering an organization has several "entry situations."

  • The moment the decision is made that he or she will join the organization - that is, the moment the terms and conditions and date of the relationship are set. The new person is not formally a member yet,
  • The first day at work, when he or she is actually already a member,
  • The moment of entering the group of employees, getting to know the team, colleagues. Most often, this is also the first day of work,
  • The moment of entry into tasks and responsibilities, which may be postponed in relation to the first day at work even for a few days.

A welcome email can be sent at any of these stages.

When to send a welcome email?

Depending on how long the period between confirmation of terms of employment and your first day at the company is, and the type of company and position, the welcome email can be sent several weeks before your first day at work or on your first day. There are no limits to sending several welcome messages with different information.

At Woonity, we encourage you to start onboarding earlier - before your first day and send your first welcome message shortly after confirming employment and another message before your first day. On the start day, we welcome the employee to the company and to the team.

Preboarding welcome email

This should be sent as soon as possible after the terms of employment are confirmed. It is the company's first contact with a new person after recruitment and affects the employee's first impression of the company.

In such a message you can:

  • Emphasize how important the position is to us and how happy we are to have found the right person for it,
  • Outline (in a nutshell) the preboarding plan until the job starts,
  • Provide contact information for a contact person during the preboarding period.

The email should be personalized.

ProTIP: It is better to send the questionnaire or NPS regarding the recruitment process in a separate email so that the candidate/employee has a sense of anonymity. Otherwise you may receive falsified data.

See video on organizational culture from Zappos.

You can also start introducing an employee to the company culture in the first email. Check out the video below from Zappos that shows how things work at Zappos. After such a dose of excitement, any employee would look forward to their first day!



When to send a welcome message?

A welcome email before your first day at work

Usually sent as a private email or instant messaging message. Its purpose is not so much a welcome to work as a way of reducing the tension associated with the first day and preparing the employee for what will happen during the first day.

Such an email should include:

  • Confirmation of the start time and location,
  • Information on how to get to the office (if necessary),
  • Dress code rules for the first day,
  • A list of documents the employee should bring with them,
  • A detailed daily schedule,
  • Contact information for someone to notify in case of difficulties (e.g., being late).

Welcome notice before the first day - Manatee County Goverment example.

See how Manatee County in Florida did it. By using humor and a detailed presentation about the first day, the new employee's stress will be under control and the employee will find their way to the front desk without difficulty.





Although... we would have just greeted the employee already in the parking lot anyway. Wouldn't that be a nice surprise?

Welcome mail on the first day of work

The employee should include:

  1. a warm welcome!

  2. description of the next step (e.g. filling in your profile in the HR system, watching a video about the company, making an appointment for lunch with your buddy, etc.).

You can also add information about the company, the team, a more detailed plan of the day or the whole onboarding.

The content of this email will depend on whether you have sent other welcome emails before. The most important thing is that the email is cheerful and that the employee, upon reading it, is excited to start working for your company!

Learn what your first email at a new job should NOT look like.



Welcome email - content, rules, methods

Rules for writing a welcome message to an employee:

  • Be enthusiastic - joining the company is a joyful event!
  • Be empathetic - reduce anxiety and tension
  • Be consistent - align language and style with company culture
  • Be open - treat the welcome email as an invitation to a conversation rather than a message,
  • Remember a catchy title - a welcome email is marketing. You need to encourage people to open it!

Graphics, gifs, memes

Graphic elements in an email make it easier to read, allow you to illustrate what you want to convey, can make you smile and make you laugh (which reduces stress, which is at a high level for a person on their first day at work). Don't hesitate to use them.

Example of a gif in the welcome email

Video

Recording is a great way for the broader community to welcome an employee. It allows you to:

  • Showcase the office or the entire company,
  • Introduce fellow employees,
  • Tell any story in an engaging way.

ProTIP: if you want to introduce your team, you can record a spot where employees say something about themselves - just 10 seconds per person.

The downside of the video is the lack of personalization (it can be done by adding a few seconds of personalized greeting and editing it with each onboarding, but this method is quite expensive). The video can also easily get "old" and lose its relevance - all it takes is for someone to leave the team or the company to relocate.

Other methods of sending a welcome message (beyond email)

Remember, while email is the most popular means of communication today, you don't have to limit yourself to just email. You can also:

  • Send the employee a paper letter (or as a postcard)
  • Send a message through an instant messaging service used in the company - such as Slack,

The paper letter is very formal. It is welcoming a new person to the company in a somewhat "old style" way, with attentiveness and consideration. It can be a very pleasant surprise for an employee.

IDEA! This message can also be addressed to ... the employee's family, emphasizing that job transition is a very challenging and stressful time stressful for the new person, so we ask the family to support the new person during this difficult time. A pleasant surprise is guaranteed.

Instant messaging is fast, effective, and great for when you want to combine welcoming a new person with introducing them to the rest of the team. It allows for a spontaneous and quick exchange of information.

Research shows that it's an effective method of communication. SlickText 2019 analysis shows that 44% of employees would rather get a text or instant message than an email.

How to write a welcome email at a new job

  1. Decide what your purpose is and what you want to communicate to the new person.

    Is it just to say hello to create a nice first impression? Or do you want to include information about the company or team right away? Or is your goal to communicate right away what the first day will be like?

    • Tailor your communication to your goals,
    • Don't overload the email with too much information (it should be no longer than 1500 characters.
    • Use graphics, video, logos, links to add variety to the message.
  2. What emotions and impressions should accompany her reading it?

    • If you want to reassure the new person, reduce stress and tension use phrases such as support, help, relax : "I know the first days are exciting but also stressful", "We will give you support", "You will get help here and here". Use humor, jokes.
    • If you want her to feel validated and proud to be joining you, write: "You beat X number of candidates in the recruitment process. We know we've chosen the best person to build our company together. Together we will do great things!"
    • If you want her to get into relationships quickly introduce the team, invite her to your intranet and blog.
  3. What is the employee's impression of the company?

    Every company has certain values. The language and style of communication reflects them. If you want the employee to get the impression that they work for a serious and professional company, don't use emoticons and memes, but if you want to show that you are an open company, full of humor and positive attitude you can afford them.

    Make sure the email is free of industry and company slang - a new person may not understand them yet.

    To help you write the perfect work welcome email, we've put together some templates. Check out examples of welcome emails for an employee and start using them!

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