Preboarding – Boost Employee Engagement from the Get-Go

6 min read

5 Ways to Welcome a New Team Member Before They Start

At the core of any successful business are its people. They represent the most significant expense but also have the potential to be the most valuable asset. A skilled and dedicated team can foster company culture, drive growth, and shape the company’s future. Therefore, attracting the right individuals and ensuring a smooth onboarding process is crucial. Effective onboarding boosts employee engagement and sets the stage for productivity and success. Effectively welcoming new team members and laying a solid foundation for their role greatly benefits the new employee, team members and the business. Here are our top five ways to make a great first impression and wow new recruits before they even start.

Preboarding: Make it count

As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is especially true when it comes to employee onboarding. Studies have shown that a positive onboarding experience can increase retention rates and employee engagement, leading to a more productive workforce.

But onboarding doesn’t start on the employee’s first day – it starts before they walk through the door. Preboarding, as it’s often called, is the time between when a new employee accepts a job offer and when they start the job.

Preboarding is critical for many reasons. First, it sets the tone for the employee’s overall experience with the company. If they feel valued and welcomed before they even start, they’re more likely to have a positive outlook on their new role and the company as a whole.

Preboarding is increasingly vital in the current job market. With top talent often fielding multiple job offers, companies must differentiate themselves from the competition. A strong preboarding program can make a company stand out from the rest.

Finally, preboarding allows new employees to build excitement for their new role. By sharing information about the company culture, introducing them to their team members, and connecting them with a buddy or mentor, companies can help new employees feel more confident and excited about their new position.

In short, preboarding is a critical component of employee onboarding. By making an excellent first impression and setting the stage for a positive onboarding experience, companies can boost retention rates, increase employee engagement, and create a more productive workforce. So make it count – your new employees will thank you for it.

Making an excellent first impression is setting the stage for a positive onboarding experience.

1. Send a personalised email

As soon as you know who your newest team member will be, please take the opportunity to connect with them via email. The HR manager can do this, but for a more personalised touch, consider having the email from the hiring manager.

Make sure to let the new employee know how thrilled you are to have them joining the team and that you can’t wait for them to start. Please take a moment to mention something you learned about them during the employee recruitment process that impressed or excited you about their role in the team. This could be their previous work experience, education, or skills that stood out in their interview.

Include some relevant information about the role they’ll be taking on. If you have an employee handbook or onboarding materials, attach them to the email or let the employee know when they can expect to receive them. Also, if you have any vital information, such as their start date or the first day’s schedule, be sure to include it in the email.

Remember, the goal is to make employees feel welcomed and valued, even before they start. Taking the time to send a personalised email can go a long way in creating a positive first impression. For a bonus, send an email follow-up a few days before they are due to start. This puts the new employee at ease, knowing you still remember them and allows them to ask any questions before their first day.

2. Share the company culture

As part of your employee recruitment process, you’ve hired a new team member you think is an excellent fit for your business. Now it’s time to share your company culture with them and make them feel welcomed into the fold.

Encourage questions and open dialogue so your new team member feels comfortable asking for clarification and getting to know you better. One way to help them feel more prepared and confident when they start and s that they can review before their first day. This will help them feel more prepared and confident when they start and give them a sense of your company’s values and mission.

It’s also helpful to share stories and examples that illustrate your company culture. For instance, you could tell them about a recent project that embodied your company values or introduce them to a team member who exemplifies your culture in action.

Overall, sharing your company culture is an important step in welcoming a new team member. By doing so, you’re setting them up for success and helping them feel like a part of the team from day one. This can go a long way in boosting employee engagement and retention and improving overall team dynamics.

Branded Employee Welcome Pack

3. Create a welcome pack

Regarding employee recruitment and onboarding, one of the most popular trends in pre-boarding is sending an employee welcome pack or gift. Research shows that companies that send employee onboarding gifts experience higher employee engagement and retention rates.

Consider sending a physical welcome pack for your new team member before they start. You could include branded items for your business, such as a mug, notebook or water bottle. Alternatively, you could send snacks or wellbeing items to showcase your commitment to them.

However, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. Poorly thought-out ideas or cheap gifts won’t have the desired effect you are looking for. Employees can sense when a company is just ticking boxes, so make sure your welcome pack is thoughtful and high-quality. Also, keep in mind that employees now want to know that you are being eco-friendly and giving back to the community. Consider this when making choices, and include sustainable or ethically sourced items.

By putting together a well-considered welcome pack, you’ll show your new team member that you are excited to have them on board and committed to making their transition as smooth as possible. Plus, who doesn’t love receiving an unexpected gift? They may even post a picture and tag you on your social media. 

4. Introduce them to the team

Another crucial aspect of successful employee onboarding is introducing the new team member to their colleagues. Being the new person can be overwhelming, so making the process as welcoming as possible is essential. One great way to do this is to set up an informal meet-and-greet with the new employee’s colleagues. This could be a virtual coffee or lunch, providing a chance to put a face to a name and get to know each other on a personal level.

Another option is to send out a quick introduction via email. This can be personalised to highlight the new skills and experience the employee brings to the company. This not only helps to break the ice but also sets a positive tone for their first day.

Making the current team aware of the new employee’s role and responsibilities is also essential. This will help avoid confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page. Reminding the team when new members start can also build excitement and anticipation for their arrival.

Overall, introducing new team members is a crucial part of employee onboarding. Creating a welcoming environment can go a long way in helping the new employee feel valued and supported from the get-go.

5. Connect them with a buddy or mentor

Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know anyone at the company. That’s why connecting new team members with a buddy or mentor who can offer guidance and support is important.

Consider assigning a buddy or mentor to your new hire during the preboarding phase. This person can show them the ropes and introduce them to others on the team. This should be someone they can turn to for questions and help navigate their first few weeks on the job.

Your new employee will appreciate having someone to turn to on their first day should they have any additional queries. A buddy or mentor can offer a sense of comfort and ease any anxieties they may have about their new role. This will make for a smoother transition and improve overall employee engagement.

When choosing a buddy or mentor, consider someone who has been with the company for a while and is knowledgeable about company culture and processes. This person should be approachable and willing to help their new colleague.

Connecting new hires with a buddy or mentor is an effective way to ensure their success within the company. It promotes employee engagement from the beginning and fosters a sense of belonging within the team.

Connect new employees with a buddy or mentor


Bringing a new team member on board is an exciting time, but it can also be nerve-wracking for the new employee and their employer. Preboarding is an essential step that must be noticed to make the transition as smooth as possible. In this blog post, we’ve covered five key ways to welcome a new team member before they even start, including sending a personalised email, sharing the company culture, curating a welcome pack or gift which will wow your new employee, introducing them to the team, and connecting them with a buddy or mentor. By taking the time to preboard your new hires, you’ll increase their engagement from the get-go and set the foundation for a long and productive relationship with your new employee. So, what are you waiting for? Start preboarding today!

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