Are You a Chief Welcoming Officer?

If Chief Welcoming Officer (CWO) is in your job description then do we have a blog post for you. You may already have a new hire packet for your business and that would solidify the reason you're the CWO. If you don't currently have such a thing you may be asking, "what can a new hire packet do for my business?" A well-designed packet sets the tone for an organized and welcoming start to a successful collaboration. As a hiring manager, it's your job to make sure your new hire packets are legally compliant and give new employees the right impression.

So what goes into a good new hire packet? Here are some headings to consider: Welcome Materials, Required Forms, Payroll/Benefits and Other Helpful Information.

Welcome Materials

  • Welcome Letter - One of the critical documents a hiring packet should include is a welcome letter on company letterhead to the new employee. Provide a warm welcome to the employee, giving him or her a brief introduction to the company, the mission statement, how happy you are that the individual has chosen to come work for you and a good point of contact should the new hire have any questions. Here at Topaz, we used a fun new hire video to welcome and introduce our new employee.
  • Promotional Items - Include promotional items displaying the company's logo, if desired. Pens, note pads and key chains are small tokens that can help a new employee feel they belong to the group.

Those Pesky Forms

Decide in advance whether your welcome kit will include papers for the new employee to complete and sign. Some companies include this type of material in the new hire packet with instructions to complete and return it. Others prefer to have new employees complete these important documents in person during an orientation session with the company's HR department. Here are a couple (but not all) kinds of forms that could be included:

  • Required Forms - This is probably the area that both new hires and employers want to get settled the most. Forms required by law may include tax documents, immigration forms and employee and emergency contact information.
  • Employee Information Form - This optional form can be as simple or complex as you’d like to make it. Outside of standard information, this is a great opportunity to gather any information about the employee while making your new hire feel like a valued part of their new team.

Payroll and Benefits

  • Payroll Documents - If your company uses direct deposit, include the enrollment forms in the new hire package with instructions on where to return it on the first day of work.
  • Compensation and Benefits Information - Beyond getting direct deposit set up, learning about company benefits is probably the second most important topic in new hires’ minds. If the new hire is eligible for benefits like health care coverage, a 401(k), and the like, you can include summary plan descriptions and enrollment paperwork.

Policies and Programs

  • Injury, Illness, and Prevention Program (IIPP) - All employers are required by OSHA to have an IIPP and to train employees on its contents. If so, include it in the package with an acknowledgment of receipt to sign and return.
  • Diversity Policies or Programs - Not all employers have separate diversity policies or programs but if you do, include it in the new hire package.

Remember, your New Hire Packet is not intended to be an exhaustive manual of do’s and don’ts. Rather, it should be designed to facilitate answers to frequently asked questions that new employees ask while infusing a sense of the company culture.

Most of this information is likely at your fingertips. It won’t take you long to create, so why not get started and help your next hire feel better about their new career home!