When you write a welcome letter to a new employee, you share your first formal communication as two members of the same team. Your reader is no longer a prospective hire, and you’re no longer a potential employer: This partnership is official! And it should begin with a note of ceremony and celebration, a warm and enthusiastic greeting.
Keep in mind that your letter serves another purpose as well; as you sit down to write a welcome letter to a new employee, you’re also providing reassurance, confirmation, and instructions.
Specifically, you’ll need to provide info about next steps. What will the employee need to do to prepare for the first week? Where and when should the employee appear on the established start date? What time should they plan to be there?
How to Write a Welcome Letter to a New Employee
Here are a few simple tips and easy steps that can help you cover all the bases as you write a welcome letter to a new employee.
1. Clarify your overall purpose.
Before you begin to write, put yourself in the position of your reader. This shouldn’t be too hard; we’ve all played this role at least a few times in our lives. And if you’re like most of us, you stood at the threshold of your new job hoping to make a great impression, hoping to be appreciated and valued, and eager to collect all the necessary bits of practical information that could support success on your first day. New employees have straightforward needs: they need to know where to be, when to be there, what to bring, and what to expect. And they have straightforward wants as well: They want to be met at the door with positivity and optimism. Use your letter to provide this necessary info and assurances.
2. Check with your legal team.
While you’re spreading optimism and sharing instructions and information, make sure your letter stays legally compliant. Don’t make any promises that you can’t keep, for example. Don’t imply that the job is permanent if it isn’t, don’t describe the job in misleading terms, and don’t suggest the offer is a done deal if that isn’t yet the case. If your HR manager still needs to receive some signed paperwork, state this as you write a welcome letter to a new employee.
3. Include first day details.
If your employee will need to complete a probationary or training period before receiving benefits, state this now. If they need to know about certain enforceable policies or unbreakable rules on day one, make them clear in your letter. For example, if you have a strict dress code or if credentials are required in order to enter the building, state this now. Take care of this as you write a welcome letter to a new employee; don’t leave your employee in an awkward position when they try to enter the complex and can’t pass the gate.
4. Length matters, but not too much.
Most forms of formal business communication should be kept short and concise. Less is almost always more. Readers have limited attention spans and limited capacity for retention, and when you ramble, many of them tune out and miss critical points. As you write a welcome letter to a new employee, you can bend this rule. In this case, more is better. Don’t risk skipping vital information, and don’t adopt a clipped or cold tone in order to race to the finish line; say everything you need to say. Attach additional documents, like your employee handbook, if you need to.
5. Include something personal.
It’s okay to use a template letter to welcome new employees, but feel free to vary at least a few lines of each template letter in order to personalize your message and express your enthusiasm about this specific employee joining the team. Mention at least one or two of the credentials that impressed you during the selection process, or at least a few of the lofty expectations you have regarding this partnership. For example: “I know you’re going to help us make our new product rollout a smashing success!”
6. Include next steps.
Even if the contract is signed, the deal is done, and the employee has merely to show up on the established start date, clarify the next steps they’ll need to take. Even if they seem simple and obvious, state them. Your new hire may need to fill out forms that can be completed at home to save time, or they may need to bring information they can share verbally, like social security numbers or passwords. Your expectations matter to your new employee, so share these expectations and explain exactly what will happen after your letter is received and read.
7. Proofread you letter.
As is the case with any business correspondence, you want to give your letter a final read-through for grammar and spelling. Furthermore, watch out for potential blunders like confusing instructions, missing or inaccurate contact information, or a tone that comes across as demanding and entitled. A tone that misses the mark can launch the relationship on the wrong foot, but a clear message of warmth and respect can set the stage for a lasting and productive collaboration.