How to design a welcome kit for new team members

How was the first week at your current job?

Whether if it was amazing or simply awkward, the first week is always a memorable time in a professional’s life. Some companies take great lengths to make their new employees welcome, while others (like an agency I used to work for that had me wait three hours until someone showed up with my computer) don’t pay much attention — to say the least.

Beyond the “You don’t get a chance to make a first impression” cliché, onboarding should be taken seriously by employers for several reasons:

  • The faster a new worker gets adjusted, then the faster they will start producing
  • The first few days is when an employee realises if they’re a right fit for the job or not
  • The people who feel appreciated tend to stay around longer
  • The simple fact that being nice to someone else makes you feel good

There are several ways to acclimate a new hired person, some companies organise a lunch with the chairman while others simply show an explicative video, but we personally prefer the welcome kit.

Employee welcome kits

A welcome package is like a survival kit for the office – but cuter. It’s a present intended to give the new employer the tools and knowledge they need to get up and running in the new job as soon as possible.

Welcome kits vary greatly depending on the company and the industry. For example, agencies (as you will see in a bit) tend to be creative and take them very seriously, while other types of businesses may go down a more corporate route.

Some of the most common elements a welcome kit tends to have are:

  1. Welcome Letter
  2. HR Documents*
  3. Branded Merchandise
  4. Map of the Company
  5. Company’s mission and vision
  6. Schedule for new hire orientation activities

*These usually include an emergency contact information form, payroll and holiday schedules.

How to design an employee welcome kit

In order to design an appropriate welcome kit there are several questions you need to ask:

  • What do we want the first impression of the company to be?
  • What does our new coworker need to know?
  • Are there any elements we use on a daily basis that we can facilitate?
  • What are our values as a brand and how can we communicate that through this package?

For example, at our office we have a picture hanging up at our office that says “Fresh. Creative. Efficient.” These are some of our core values and while we may not give away air fresheners (turns out, they don’t give the right impression) we would probably include a mug in our package because we drink coffee every once in a while — just a cup, or two daily. Okay, maybe five… The point is coffee makes us more efficient.

Once you’ve made up your mind about what it is you want people to find in their package, it’s time to contact a supplier. Some people worry that this may make the items look generic or too businessy, but you can always add a personal touch later, like a handwritten note, a picture of the team, or anything else your imagination might come up with.

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Examples of Awesome Welcome Kits

In case you need some inspiration to design your employee welcome kit, here are some of the best examples we could find on the internet:

A red carpet welcome

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Ogilvy and Mather is an international advertising agency that’s got offices in over 160 cities around the world and for their Cape Town headquarters, they designed a welcome kit inspired by the eight habits the company holds true. The package contained eight layered boxes and in each one a quirky element representing one of the eight habits.

25 years of history in one package

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Cactus, an agency based in Denver, prepared a welcome kit that includes a T-shirt, a baseball cap, a ruler and USB among others. The purpose was to not only give their new employees tools that they would need in their jobs, but also to brief them on the company’s over 25 years of history.

The voice of an airline

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Fluor design studios was hired by Tap Portugal to design the new welcome employee kits for the airline. A speech bubble artwork was used to reflect the voice of the company along with the slogan “Welcome aboard”.

A toast for the new coworker

Twitter gives its employees a bottle of wine along with a tote bag, T-shirt, laptop sleeve and notebook.

Swag, swag, swag

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Gregory Newton, talent coordinator at FanDuel, proudly announced that they were welcoming their new employees by posting a picture of the company’s welcome kit on Linkedin. The package included a hoodie, a jumper, stationery, a wireless keyboard, a wireless mouse and — a MacBook Pro. Not too shabby… 

Welcome cards

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Named as one of the best American agencies to work for in 2015 by Outside magazine, McGarrah Jessee goes the extra mile to make his employees feel welcome. As one of the most creative kits on this list, the agency designed cute little cards with important information so the new workers could find their footing in the new premises.

Everyone is a hero

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Contentpark’s welcome kit includes a Funko Pop Vinyl figurine. Enough said.

Reading is fundamental

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Jack Dorsey co-founder and CEO of Twitter, also leads another project called Square which is a platform that allows to take payment from credit and debit cards on mobile devices. Whenever someone gets hired at Square, they receive a welcome kit that includes the book The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right by Atul Gawande, which apparently is a text that Dorsey often quotes.

A classic: The survival kit

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Studio Phoenix Creatif, an agency based in Montreal, created a series of survival kits for creatives which include things like a stress ball to keep you calm if you have to spend a long night at the office. While they’re not welcome kits per se, they are still a great inspiration.

Welcome, new students

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When we think of official university documents, boring pamphlets come to mind. That’s why Drexler students must be surprised whenever they receive this welcome package. While the kit that was designed by Patrick Hennessy includes nothing out of the ordinary, the packaging and the graphic design stand out.

Travel with style

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Design agency UO was hired by a luxury travel company based in Barcelona to design care packages for their customers. The boxes include handmade soaps, organic teas and of course, a travel notebook.

Redefining an image

welcome kits examples

Led by awarded designer Gadi Amit, NewDealDesign is an industrial design agency that at some point hired* American designer Helen Shaffer to redesign its corporative image including their welcome kit. The agency’s new package included (not one but) two T-shirts, a tote bag, a lunch guide(!) and a beer glass to celebrate on Friday after a long week of work. 

* It seems like this was a while ago since NDD has got a different image now.

The token welcome package

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While not a real welcome kit, the prototype by Finnish designer Jenni Juurinen is a good reference point to start designing the package of any company. Don’t forget to add a T-shirt!

Plastic bags for the win

Package Design by Cao You-WenSource

Again, technically not a welcome kit, but it is still a good idea to copy emulate. The beautiful books designed by Taipei, Taiwan based designer Cao You-Wen have been sealed inside a plastic bag that allows you to see what’s inside while at the same time protect its contents.

Wood for the win

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Or, if you’d prefer a different kind of material you can also use wood! All of the items (that include a mug, pencils, tape measure, key fob and an official branded tee) come neatly packaged inside a handmade birchwood box. If this doesn’t make a statement, I don’t know what will.

Wood seems to be trending

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For the “No Island is a Man” exhibit at the DeVos Art Museum in Michigan, US, designer Edwin Carter wanted to distance the design from the regular exhibition catalogue and designed a package that represented the artist instead. It is worth noting that the wooden box was made to look like a book with its details engraved with laser. 

Stationery worthy of a queen

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Online shop Kikki.k brings us this delicate, yet very elegant stationery kit. Like the plastic bag, the acrylic box allows you to see what’s inside while protecting the objects, only this one is sturdier.

Survive in style

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For the annual Tuongee Symposium that takes place in South Africa and gathers the country’s top media and advertising people, a welcome kit was designed to mimic a survival guide. Written in a tongue-in-cheek way, the package contained pencils, gin (dubbed as mosquito repellent), rope, eraser and of course, the guide.

Promote yourself creatively

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To promote her services, Brisbane based designer Lisa Dino created this cute set that includes a sketchbook, coloured pencils, a pencil sharpener and an eraser for anyone to be creative wherever they are.

Let the experiments begin

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Creative agency Werner Design Werks collaborated with designer Cabell Harris from Worklabs to create this welcome kit for LabRabs, a kind of club for intellectuals and scientists to gather and share ideas. Any inner scientist child would be happy.

If this doesn’t inspire you to design your own employee welcome kit, I don’t know what will!

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