HR & Culture
 min read

14 Swag Items and Ideas to Include in Your Employee Starter Kit

14 Swag Items and Ideas to Include in Your Employee Starter Kit
November 2, 2022

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It is well known that engaged employees are productive employees. They are also 23% more profitable than disengaged workers. This means it’s vital you have a top-notch onboarding process to engage new hires from the start.

An employee starter kit is a popular part of employee onboarding. The best starter kits include a mix of practical and fun items that introduce new hires to your company. Also, starter kits help new employees beat the coronavirus blues by making them feel like part of the team. 

This article will look at 14 popular swag items you could include in your starter kit to welcome new employees.

What Is an Employee Starter Kit?

An employee starter kit is a package presented to new employees to welcome them to the company. Over two-thirds of employee starter kits contain three to five items, though some have up to eight. These items may be practical, like an employee handbook or office supplies, but they can also be fun.

Any items you include should be high-quality and represent the company. 20% of employee turnover occurs within the first 45 days, so give new hires a great first impression. Most companies give employees their starter kit on their first day. But you can also send it to them beforehand or wait till you get to know their preferences.

Benefits of Employee Starter Kits

There are many benefits of employee starter kits for you and your employees. For example:

  • They make new hires feel welcome and appreciated
  • Employee posts about starter kits get 75% more engagement on social media, so they help advertise your brand
  • Everyone owns the same items, so they act as an ice-breaker and make employees feel like a team
  • Employees feel engaged and excited from day one
  • They introduce employees to your company’s ethos
  • Information like how to use a company integration in Salesforce gets new hires up to speed

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14 Items to Include in Your Employee Starter Kit

Ideally, employee starter kits should include a mix of fun and valuable items that an employee can use at work or home. With that in mind, here are 14 swag items you could mix and match for your company’s starter kits.

1. Welcome Letter

Every starter kit should have a welcome letter from your company’s CEO or manager. You could introduce your company values and culture and your goals. For instance, if your company uses Agile manifesto planning, you could talk about the worth of team spirit.

A welcome letter is an ideal way to add a personal touch to your starter kit, specifically if you write it by hand. If you decide to include a welcome letter, you should get to know your new hire first. That way, you can write a letter they will appreciate.

2. Onboarding Documents 

Another must-have for a starter kit is a folder of onboarding documents. There are many helpful documents you should include, such as:

  • A copy of their employment contract
  • Company perks and benefits
  • Relevant tax forms
  • An office map
  • Parking instructions
  • Log-in details for WiFi, contact center software, and other applications
  • An agenda that details what they’ll be doing for their first week

You could also add a map of the local amenities like cafes, parks, and gyms or links to the company’s social channels.

3. Employee Handbook

As well as onboarding documents, it’s helpful to add a physical copy of the employee handbook. Employee handbooks usually include information like:

  • Company rules and policies, such as dress code, smoking, sick leave, and so on
  • Terms of employment
  • Vital staff members and how to contact them
  • Company values, including dos and don’ts
  • Core working hours
  • Emergency procedures, like a business continuity plan sample
  • Disciplinary and complaints procedures

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4. Coffee Mug/Tumbler

No office would be complete without tea- and coffee-making facilities, so what better welcome gift than a coffee mug? You could add an inspirational or funny quote or personalize it with your employee’s initials.

If coffee mugs aren’t your thing, consider a coffee tumbler. Tumblers keep your drink hot all day一sometimes up to 12 hours! They’re also a more sustainable option since your employees can take them to the local coffee shop instead of using disposable cups.

5. Stickers

Stickers are a cost-effective but fun option. Employees can put stickers on their laptops, phones, water bottles, and other items to show they’re part of the team. Plus, if the stickers have inspirational quotes, they could give your workers a motivational boost.

6. Photo Frame

A photo frame is a fantastic way for new hires to personalize their desk as they can display a photo of their family, friends, or pets. It will give them a sense of home and help them settle in at work. It’s also a great way to start a conversation with colleagues. 

7. Headphones 

A practical item you could include is a pair of headphones. After all, 56% of employees regularly use headphones in the workplace. A good set of headphones is essential for employees who use automated call center solutions, but they can benefit other workers as well.

Many employees use headphones to cancel out background noise or listen to music. It improves focus, and 78% of employees believe music increases their workplace productivity. Music is also a great way to de-stress. And headphones aren’t only for work; you can use them at home or out and about too.

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8. Clothing

Clothing like t-shirts and hoodies is another popular choice. If you want employees to wear it, though, it’s best if you minimize your company logo. Also, try to source high-quality and sustainable clothing. That way, your employees will feel comfortable wearing it out and about. This is a great way to increase your brand’s visibility.

If your company has uniforms, like a branded polo shirt or cap, you could include this in the starter kit. However, remember that you’ll have to check the sizing beforehand so your employees don’t end up with something too small or too big.

9. Office Supplies

Notebooks are the number one choice for employee starter kits. But there are plenty of other helpful supplies you could include, such as:

  • Pens, pencils, and highlighters
  • Post-it notes
  • Folder or storage box
  • Mousepad
  • Office access card, plus a lanyard
  • USB cable
  • Desk cleaning supplies
  • Desk calendar
  • Any other supplies your employee needs to do their job

10. Webcam Blocker

With more people working from home, there has been a rise in video conferencing for startups and other businesses,. bBut many employees worry about their privacy. IncludingSo, you could include a webcam blocker in your employee starter kit can ease that concern.

A camera blocker has a shutter you can open and close depending on whether you’re using your webcam. Webcam blockers fit most laptops, desktops, and phones, so they can give workers peace of mind. They’re also more secure and durable than a post-it note.

11. Tote Bag/Backpack 

If you want to show off your company's sustainability, you should consider a tote bag or backpack. For one, you can put your starter kit items in them instead of a cardboard box. Also, they're a great way to reduce plastic carrier bags. This makes a high-quality tote bag or backpack a great advert for your brand. 

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12. Gift Card/Voucher 

A gift card is usually a safe bet since it lets employees choose their gifts. Make sure it’s a card they can use in many stores or a card for a generalist store like Amazon.

Or, you could include a voucher for a meal out (or even a weekend away if your budget stretches that far).

13. Desk Plant

To add a bit of greenery, you could include a desk plant in your starter kit. A plant is a great way to brighten up your employee's desk. For instance, 63% of workers think plants improve the workplace environment.

Plants can also improve productivity and concentration. For example, almost one-third of employees say plants help them concentrate at work. Plus, they can reduce stress, clean the air, aid creativity, and improve your mood. A low-maintenance plant like a succulent, rubber plant, or peace lily is the best choice for a busy office.

14. Edible Goodies

Our final suggestion is edible goodies like candy, nuts, crackers, chocolate, or fruit. Snacks give your employees energy and improve their concentration. But make sure you’re aware of any allergies your new employee has.

Start on the Right Foot

An employee starter kit is a critical part of onboarding a new hire. A well-thought-out starter kit introduces an employee to your company and makes them feel part of the team. You can include important information about their job, like how to forecast marketing industry trends. Plus, you can incorporate fun items like stickers, photo frames, and goodies.

Whichever industry you're in, you can start on the right foot with a high-quality starter kit to welcome new employees to your company. 

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