Onboarding is a make-or-break period for your new hires, and it seems like a lot of us aren’t doing it right. Only 12% of employees say their companies are doing a great job of onboarding new employees. Yikes.

If we want to maximize retention and engagement from day one (or even before), we need to start paying attention to onboarding processes. Each step should be planned out to help employees quickly make friends and feel connected to your organization.

Part of creating this connection is managing regular communication. With multiple touchpoints and stakeholders, onboarding communication is a complicated process—but writing emails aren’t. Let’s explore the two most important emails you’ll send to your new hires during onboarding.

Welcome to your new job!

The welcome email is the first email your new hire will receive from HR in their official onboarding process, and it should land in their inbox a week before their start date. With 20% of employee turnover happening in the first 45 days, time is of the essence.

The welcome email’s goal is to get employees excited for their first day (and to reduce any first-day jitters!). It’s your chance to tell them where they’ll be sitting, remind them if there’s anything they’ll need to bring, and share your favorite spot for ordering lunch. 

We recommend keeping the tone light and easy to help your new hires feel comfortable. Check out this example:

Subject line: It’s almost day one!

[firstname], can you believe it? This time next week, you’ll have your [companyname] water bottle in-hand at your new desk. We can’t wait!

Some things to know ahead of your first day:

  • Your desk is [wherever the desk is]. When you get to the office give your manager, [manager’s name], a ring; they’ll help you get settled in.
  • When choosing your outfit, don’t be stressed! Our dress code is “whatever makes you feel comfortable”—but shirts and shoes are a must.
  • To finish up final bits of paperwork, please bring your Social Security card and birth certificate (just this once).
  • No need to pack a lunch! Your team has something special planned. If you have any dietary restrictions/preferences, please share them with me.

If you have any questions before you start, feel free to email or call. We’re glad you’re here!

Best,

[firstname]

This email will remind new hires how excited you are to have them and hopefully relieve any anxieties they may have.

Get to know the team

With new hires preferring to make new friends than work with an onboarding buddy, this introduction email will help make their first day a social and productive one. Sent on the new hire’s first day by the hiring manager to the department and C-suite, this introductory email will help teammates get to know the new hire and inspire them to introduce themselves.

We recommend keeping this email short and sweet and to end it with an action item—an invitation to lunch or happy hour, perhaps?

We recommend using this template:

Subject line: Team, meet [firstname]!

Have you noticed the new face on [new hire’s desk location]?

Today is [new hire name]’s first day! They’ve joined us as [position name] on [manager]’s [team], and will be working closely with [teammate], [teammate], and [teammate].

[New hire] is from [location] and they love [thing they love]. [2-3 sentences here about hobbies and special abilities].

Want to get to know [new hire]? Come say hello at their desk, or join us for [lunch/happy hour/soccer match] at [time/place]!

[New hire], we’re glad you’re here!

This introduction email will reduce the awkwardness of being the new kid on the block, and will hopefully encourage new teammates to introduce themselves and explore similarities with the new hire.

Two emails, one goal

The goals of the onboarding process are to help employees feel engaged, loyal, and productive. By sending these emails to your new hire and their teammates, you’ll build a sense of trust and belonging before day one is over.


From Shayna Hodkin

Shayna lives in south Tel Aviv with two dogs and a lot of plants. She writes poems and reads tarot.