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A welcome letter is a personalized document that your hiring manager will send to new colleagues within your business.
It should include all the details that new employees need to feel prepared and excited about starting work. You can send the letter through the mail or via email.
Some businesses also encourage a new employee’s direct manager to send a letter welcoming them to the team.
Why a Welcome Letter Matters
Sending a clearly expressed and friendly welcome letter can have numerous benefits for your business and your employees.
Provides essential information
Having key information about your business as early as possible can help ensure employees arrive feeling confident and that their first day runs smoothly. You’ll find more information on what to include in your welcome letter below.
Creates a strong first impression
By promptly sending out a welcome letter after your new employee has accepted a job offer, you will send the message that your HR department is well-organized and acts quickly.
Helps to calm employee’s nerves
Experiencing a period of silence after accepting a job offer can create anxiety for new hires, and some may even believe that you have changed your mind. A thoughtful and detailed welcome letter can allay new job jitters and generate excitement for the new role.
What to Include in a Welcome Letter
Deciding on the relevant information to include in your letter will depend on your business. However, most welcome letters will typically include some of the elements detailed below.
Key employment details
Although you should have agreed on the key terms of employment during the hiring process, it is sensible to confirm these in the welcome letter. You may therefore want to include the following details:
- Job title
- Usual place of work
- Start date
- Hours of employment
- Salary or hourly wage
- Length of contract—if applicable
- Employee benefit entitlement
The reasons you hired them
As part of the welcome letter, you should remind your new employees that you are excited to have them as part of your team. Likewise, you can outline the qualities or experience that led you to hire them.
Not only will this reassure employees that you have confidence in them, but it may also help reduce any stress they are feeling about their new role.
Instructions for accessing the building
Your letter should include the practical details that your new starter will need to enter and exit your premises.
This can include:
- Parking instructions
- Information on any restricted areas
- Details of who will greet the new hire on their first day.
A first-week itinerary
It can help your new employees prepare to start work if they know what to expect within their first few days. You might therefore want to send a rough outline that details key training or meetings your new employee will need to attend.
Your company history and mission
Although you may not want to go into unnecessary detail in a welcome letter, it can be helpful to include information about when your company was created and who its founders are. This can be especially valuable if you work in a family-run business.
However, it may be more important to outline your business’s mission for the future. You could—for example—explain product areas you are focusing on or new markets you plan to enter.
Key contact details
You should also clearly identify key contacts across your business. This can include:
- Their new employee’s manager
- A contact within HR
- An IT specialist
- Their onboarding buddy or mentor—if your business runs such a scheme.
Details of onboarding forms
It is also a good idea to include any onboarding forms that your new starters need to fill in. The exact forms your employees need to complete will depend on your business. Included below are some typical examples.
Receiving these forms before their first day can provide new hires with sufficient time to find any information they may be missing.
Links to online resources
Rather than bombarding your employees with paper documents, you may want to include links to online documentation—such as your employee handbook. Including links is especially useful if you are sending your welcome letter via email.
Tips for Writing a Welcome Letter
A welcome letter should be a relatively short document. However, it can take considerable effort to write a successful communication. Below are our top tips for getting it right.
When crafting your letter, it’s important to remember that your colleagues are people first and foremost. As such, the tone should be warm and friendly. If appropriate, you can also refer to any workplace jokes you may have.
Avoid fully templated letters
While it can be useful to research templated welcome letters, you should try to personalize your letter as much as possible. If your new employees get the sense that you cut and paste your letter from elsewhere, it can appear cold and impersonal. As a rule, the more personalized details you include in your letter, the more sincere it will appear.
Consider a welcome pack
In addition to your letter, you could also create a more detailed welcome packet for your new employees. This may include branded items related to your business, such as t-shirts, USBs, or notepads.
Be available for questions
After receiving their letter, your employees may well have questions or require further information. Be clear that the person who is sending the letter is available to address any concerns the new employee may have. Be sure to stress that no question is too big or too small.
Also, consider phoning your new hire nearer to their start date to confirm details within the letter.
Sign your letter by hand
If you’re sending your letter in the mail, signing it by hand can make a big difference for new employees. A letter that is unsigned may create the impression that all new employees automatically receive generic letters.
An effective welcome letter should contain all the information that your new starter needs to begin their role and adjust to life in your company. When written well, welcome letters can also set the tone for a productive working relationship that lasts for years or even decades.
Invest time and energy into getting these letters right and creating a strong first impression for new team members.