For most new hires, Day 1 in a new office at a new company with new coworkers is exhausting.
From HR paperwork to meeting 20 people in 20 minutes, it's overwhelming for someone to change companies — and that's before the work even starts.
Creating an attractive company culture and welcoming new hires to your team doesn't mean you have to offer free massages, unlimited vacation, and an in-office movie theater.
Instead, we want to show you how to make onboarding your new hires fun, easy, and inexpensive.
Below, we're going to introduce you to a startup who hacked the onboarding process and developed an effective (and unique) way to welcome new team members aboard.
Meet Boxed, an online retailer with 117 employees and a seriously fun and effective onboarding process.
Boxed was founded in 2013 by an experienced group of tech pioneers with a simple idea to make bulk shopping easy, convenient, and fun.
When Boxed brings a new hire into the company, they want them to feel passion for the organization and the brand. So when Boxed started their new hire checklist, they made sure all the basics were set.
Laptop configured? Check.
Day one meet-and-greet with the team? Check again.
Rundown of the business process and workflow? Check and check.
Boxed had all the "normal" checkboxes filled...but they wondered if they were really setting their new team members up to succeed and love the Boxed mission.
It was around this time they came up with an idea to add an exciting new step to their onboarding process.
The Boxed New Hire Kit
They wanted to give each new employee something special to show they were part of the team. The first question was, What goes into the kit?
Then, a lightbulb went on.
Earlier this year, Boxed used Sticker Mule’s die cut stickers for a conference. Grace, a Recruiter at Boxed, was obsessed, "I liked them so much I said 'gimme more stickers.'"
Stickers were the perfect place to start the new hire kit — simple, cost-effective, and beautiful.
Catherine, a Business Analyst at Boxed, agrees, "The first question is cost, and stickers are the best option."
Immediately, the Boxed team decided stickers would be the heart of the Boxed New Hire Kit. Without hesitation, they jumped on 250 roll labels, 200 die cut stickers, and 200 clear stickers for their new hire kits.
The kit has helped Boxed create a friendly, welcoming culture where new hires feel comfortable to do their best work."
Happy with the stickers, they moved to the next steps of the kit. What else would new employees at Boxed need to feel welcomed and succeed from day one?
The team settled on 6 other "must-haves" for new hires to start on the right foot:
- Welcome letter signed by the team
- Branded water bottle
- Customized notebook
- Small case of Post-Its, rubber-bands, and paperclips
- "Love that bulk" T-shirt
Every new employee receives a kit — even summer interns!
Best of all, it has helped Boxed create a friendly, welcoming culture where new hires feel comfortable to do their best work.
When you walk into the Boxed office, you’ll see stickers on phones, laptops, and anywhere else the team can show their passion.
As one new team member said: "Getting company swag is really welcoming. It should be a requirement for startups. When I wear branded shirts, have stickers on my phone and laptop, I feel like I’m representing the company."
Grace agrees, "The reactions from our new hires are always positive. The interns particularly were surprised when they walked into a room with gifts prepared for them."
No more overwhelming first days. No more exhaustion. No more confusion, frustration, or doubt for a new hire when they join a new company.
Instead, there is a warm atmosphere where new hires feel part of a unique, motivated and growing family.
Compared to a normal new hire onboarding process, it's like night and day.
Creating an attractive company culture and welcoming new hires to your team doesn't mean you have to offer free massages, unlimited vacation, and an in-office movie theater."
Never one to settle, Boxed is now planning to make the kit even better. They let us in on a secret — in version 2.0, they're planning to add a sweatshirt and a bottle opener.
To create your own new hire kit, here are 3 pillars from Boxed to follow:
1. Start with stickers.
Easy to order, cost-effective and beautiful, Grace has seen the stickers she gives out to new hires everywhere — on monitors, the back of phone cases, even in wallets to hand out to friends. It's the easiest way to turn any object into company swag. Here’s Grace’s advice: "If you’re on the fence, try 100 circle roll labels for $49."
2. Don't worry about the details.
Boxed could have had back-and-forth debates about what the kit should include until their faces turned blue, but they started with a "Minimum Viable Kit" and put stickers, pens, a notebook, and a few other items that they knew would add value. Starting was more important than wasting time trying to get it 100% right the first time.
3. Make your new hire kit unique to your company.
Maybe you don't care about Post-It notes. What can you substitute instead? For example, if you’re a travel company, you can give a new hire a new laptop bag to bring on flights and include custom buttons to show off the company. Bring out what is unique to your business and brand.
If you're ready to start your own new hire kit and order custom stickers, we want to help. Quickly turn your company logo into a sticker so your employees (new and seasoned) can apply it to their own favorite items like their laptops and S’well bottles.
And don’t forget to say hello to Boxed here and thank them for the inspiration!