Making a Great First Impression with Onboarding Gifts

It’s an old saying, but true nonetheless: you only get one chance to make a first impression. Perhaps that’s why more and more companies have been offering onboarding gifts to their new employees and customers. These gifts are designed to make newcomers feel welcome and valued by the company. More significantly, they demonstrate your company’s values, your attention to detail, and the pride you take in every individual member of the organization.

Not sure where to start with an onboarding program or need to revamp your current strategy? We’ve got you covered.

The Importance of Onboarding

The onboarding process isn’t just a formality; it’s also a chance to smooth the way and ensure newcomers to your organization, employees and customers alike, feel truly welcomed and valued from the start.

Onboarding for employees goes beyond simple training and introductions. The onboarding process can have a significant positive impact on the employee’s performance and value to the company when it is thorough and welcoming. For example, research from onboarding software company Click Boarding and published in SHRM found the following:

  • Sixty-nine percent of employees are likelier to stay with a company for three years if they have a great onboarding experience.
  • New employees who underwent a structured onboarding program were 58 percent more likely to still be with the organization after three years.
  • Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50 percent greater new-hire productivity.

Looking at these stats, we can see some familiar concepts, including retention and productivity. There is a clear connection between a well-done onboarding process and achieving overall goals – perhaps because the former helps get employees connected and invested in the company’s success right away.

Onboarding can also be a customer-facing experience. Welcoming new customers can involve sending personalized communications, exclusive offers, promotional products, and other options. Just as you would when welcoming new employees to your team, your customer onboarding package is all about making them feel like your company truly values them. The desired outcomes are slightly different, but the goals are similar in that both types of onboarding aim to make the recipients loyal to your organization, generate profits, and spread good word-of-mouth impressions.

What Makes a Great Onboarding Gift?

When crafting an onboarding gift kit, ask a few relevant questions first. A vast universe of promotional product options exists, so narrowing it down initially can help make the process smoother and less stressful. Start with questions like the following:

  • Who is being onboarded?
  • What are their needs and/or wants?
  • If employees, what would new employees need to feel welcome and set up for success?
  • If customers, what would encourage them to make repeat purchases?
  • What company values do you want to convey?
  • What is the budget per gift?
  • How can these gifts be personalized?

The goal is to find a gift – or a set of gifts – that will make the recipients feel welcomed, included, and recognized. Include a personalized, thoughtful message along with the physical gifts to further build rapport and remind people your company cares about them and wants them to be satisfied and successful.

Personalization plays a big role here. After all, onboarding gifts aim to make employees or customers feel their unique presence is valued. Gifts that feel generic risk creating the opposite effect of making them feel like another faceless cog and that the gift is just an item on a checklist. Look for ways to tailor gift types to specific employee roles or customer tiers and see how you can personalize individual gifts with colors, sizes, names, and other elements. It’s a simple touch that really elevates the feeling of an onboarding gift and compounds its benefits!

Choosing an Onboarding Gift Partner

As with any marketing strategy, choosing an experienced, innovative, and resourceful partner is critical. Look for a company like Priority that has experience with gifting and recognition programs, offers a large selection of promotional products, and can handle all process steps, from product recommendations to ordering, personalization, warehousing, kitting, and shipping.

When you want to make your customers or employees feel like part of the team, an onboarding gift can be a fantastic way to get the business relationship off on the right foot! Remember – you can talk to the Priority team anytime to learn more about onboarding gifts, broader recognition programs, and promotional products to meet your needs.

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