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Staff Retention Begins With a New Employee Welcome Letter

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/15/2010

The new employee welcome letter is perhaps the easiest but also most significant human resources tool for staff retention. Getting the new hire off on the right foot is crucial to paving the way for a smooth working relationship. So what terms and wording suggestions win out?

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    Making New Hires Part of the Team

    “Zebra ballpoint pen The new hire has braved the interview process and the executive staff has spent considerable time vetting the applicant. A lot of information has been exchanged and the welcome letter is a great method for reaffirming some of the most crucial bits and pieces. Combining must-know information with warmth and a welcoming feel that bespeaks the company’s philosophy of team-building and community is a good opportunity for communicating some basic facts.

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    Communicating Effectively with a New Worker in Three Steps

    Each welcome letter should ideally contain three points of communication.

    1. Recap the starting date for the new worker, any dress code reminders, the time at which the employee should report to the supervisor and also the supervisor’s name. Even though all this information has been previously discussed, it is a good idea to put it in writing and avoid any first-day confusion.
    2. List the documents the worker needs to bring. Ensure I-9 compliance by alerting the worker to the need for the employment eligibility verification.
    3. Reiterate the commitment you have made to help the new hire succeed at the job. Couple the welcome message with a personalized ‘hello’ from the CEO or other upper-level management representative, which creates a more official tone for the missive.
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    Wording Suggestions

    Dear [insert name],

    Welcome to [insert company name]! We are looking forward to having you onboard as you assist [insert company name] in fulfilling its mission.

    Please sign in with your supervisor, [insert name], on [insert date] at [insert time]. S/He will walk you through the initial paperwork and employee orientation. Please remember to bring along [insert document names] to expedite the process.

    [Insert supervisor name] will support you every step of the way and ensure a smooth introduction to the workplace, the team and of course the company as a whole. All members of the management team are always available to you for assistance.

    Sincerely,

    [Insert supervisor name and signature]

    [Insert executive name and signature]

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    A Good First Impression

    Of course, in addition to starting off on the right foot with the new hire, the welcome letter helps to present the worker with a firsthand experience of the company’s value set. If teamwork and employee relations are considered important, receiving this type of letter reinforces that the company takes this philosophy seriously and practices – internally – what it portrays in glossy brochures and other print materials.

    Going further, the welcome letter presents an opportunity for the new employee to begin buying into the philosophy of the work place and make its priorities and mission her or his own. Yale University(1) points out that this is the type of message that cannot be given and received in one day or month but rather requires an entire year to sink in. Starting the process with a letter before the first day of work gets the ball rolling.

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    Even if the company is relatively small, a new employee welcome letter sets the tone for a productive and professional relationship. Add one to your human resources tool kit today.

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    Source

    (1)http://www.library.yale.edu/lhr/orientation/Yale_NewEmployeeWelcomeGuide.pdf

    Photo Credit: “Zebra ballpoint pen" by Ildar Sagdejev (Specious)/Wikimedia Commons at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2008-06-29_Zebra_eco_pen.jpg