How to make your new hires feel like superstars

Onboarding Blog New Hire Recognition
Picture of Firstup

Welcoming new hires to your team is an exciting opportunity to make a positive first impression and set the stage for a successful onboarding journey within your company. 

The employee experience begins well before day one. Data shows that, left unattended, 80% of new hires struggle with anxiety while waiting to start a new job. Recognizing their value from the start goes a long way toward putting them at ease.

Employee recognition boosts morale, fosters a sense of belonging, and increases engagement. In fact, when companies effectively recognize their workers, studies suggest there is 63% higher productivity and 31% lower turnover—making a true impact on the bottom line. 

Here are five creative ideas to recognize and celebrate your new hires:

1. Deliver a new hire welcome package

Craft a distinctive welcome package for new hires that reflects your company ethos and culture. Go beyond the ordinary by incorporating elements such as a personalized note from the CEO, branded merchandise, and a presentation of the company’s core values. A thoughtfully curated welcome package ignites enthusiasm in the new employee and serves as a tangible embodiment of your company values.

To further engage your new team member, embed a QR code on the gift box that links to your company LinkedIn page. Encourage them to use LinkedIn to share their excitement about joining the company, fostering a sense of community and pride in their new professional journey. 

This personalized and intentional welcome gesture sets the stage for a positive onboarding experience, aligns new hires with your company culture, and prepares incoming employees to thrive. 

50% of candidates back out of their job acceptance before they start.


2. Post employee introductions online

Leverage your company’s internal communication platform to introduce new employees to their colleagues. Have them showcase their personality by posting pictures and sharing fun facts about themselves. 

These posts serve as more than just an icebreaker—they cultivate diversity and foster connections, particularly for those working remotely or across the globe. 

This initiative becomes a valuable conduit for new hires to establish meaningful connections with their colleagues, helps employees understand organizational changes, and showcases your vibrant and inclusive culture. 

Pro tip: Pet photos are one of the best ways to prompt employee engagement with introductory posts.

3. Organize monthly meet-ups

An effective way to integrate new employees into the company culture is to facilitate connections that help them establish professional relationships with their colleagues and leaders. 

Consider organizing monthly gatherings on-site or online where employees can enjoy a cup of coffee in an informal setting. Invite all new hires from the previous month, their hiring managers, as well as colleagues in their department and beyond. 

These optional events allow employees to take a break and learn more about their colleagues’ interests, hobbies, and work projects. These insights give them an opportunity to form friendships and identify opportunities to collaborate.

Everyone has different communication styles, so be proactive in introducing new hires to others and facilitating intentional conversation to give everyone a chance to participate. 

Happy employees mean happy customers
“We see a direct correlation between happy employees and happy customers. Our Field [our custom Firstup platform] has been fundamental in delivering against our strategic goals.”

4. Showcase them during your town hall meetings

Make new hires feel like stars by featuring them in a “preshow” segment during your next big company meeting or town hall. Use presentation slides reminiscent of movie previews to showcase pictures and highlights from the new employees’ introductions. 

This companywide attention welcomes them in a grand way and adds an element of excitement to the company gathering. The positive feedback received after such presentations at Firstup has been nothing short of amazing.

Recognition can spark cultural transformation and help workplaces achieve exceptional performance while improving employees’ lives overall. 


5. Give them social media shout-outs

Posting to your company social media profiles is a fun way to celebrate new hires.  Have their manager write a welcome post on platforms like LinkedIn, tagging the new hire. This not only showcases your company’s enthusiasm for its newest team member but also introduces them to a wider professional network. It’s a simple and effective way to make the new hire feel valued and connected.

Real-time results

At Firstup, we follow these best practices and go above and beyond in acknowledging our new employees. 

Our employee referral rate increased dramatically in 2023 after implementing these measures. And in our 30- and 60-day onboarding surveys, we continue to earn more than 95% positive feedback. 

Most of all, we love these comments that we have received during the onboarding process: “Best three days I have ever had at any job.” “It’s nice to feel valued, really valued.” “They were so thrilled to be celebrated on the big screen at the town hall and get a shout-out.”

Implementing these recognition ideas fosters a positive onboarding experience and plays a pivotal role in cultivating a vibrant and engaged company culture. Above all, a stellar onboarding experience reduces time to full productivity and enhances retention rates among new hires. It’s a testament to the enduring impact that a small dose of recognition can have on overall workplace satisfaction and success.

Want more ideas for elevating onboarding?

Download 6 steps to crafting a successful onboarding program to get started.

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