Onboarding new employees can take a lot of coordination. Many steps need to be followed, and sometimes these steps take place across departments. Relaying all of this information to new hires can be cumbersome, but a well-crafted email can do the trick. If you’ve never written employee onboarding emails, buckle up. Today we are sharing some hacks that can help you craft better emails to your new team members.
1) Don’t Bombard New Employees With Information The Night Before They Start
Stress at work isn’t uncommon. For many employees, stress is consistent from the day they start their new job. Workplace stress hardly ever ends. While you can’t stop your employees from being stressed out at their new job, you can ease that stress by communicating clearly. Instead of sending out a hundred emails right before your employee starts their job, space out communication with your latest worker.
Create a cadence of communication leading up to the first day of work. Make sure your employee feels informed and at ease before heading into the office for the first time.
Keep Everyone On The Same Page About Email Sends
Hiring new employees takes communication from a wide range of departments. For example, a marketing hire might get communication from their department, IT, HR, and more. While everyone has something important to say to the new hire, this can cause anyone to get overwhelmed. You may want to:
- Consolidate information, so it’s coming from a single source. OR
- Work across departments to figure out what emails need to get sent and when.
2) Bold Important Information In Employee Onboarding Emails
Reading an email can become pretty monotonous. It can be hard to tell what information is essential and what is fluff.
You can’t exactly send an email that says, “Your first day is August 16th. Signed, HR.” Instead, you need to write out an email that flows and improves employee engagement while sharing pertinent information.
Since you can’t be blunt and direct, you need to find a way to make important information stand out. Bolding important information like start dates, job titles, next steps, etc. is a great way to highlight important information.
If you want to make important information stand out even more:
- Use italics.
- Change the color of the information.
- Highlight the text with a color like yellow, pink, or a brand color.
- Put a box around it.
- Increase the size of the font.
All of these simple ways to draw attention to information can make emails easier to digest and understand. Don’t be afraid to use a combination of these methods, either. What stands out in an employee onboarding email helps you and your new worker.
3) Break Up Your Paragraphs With Bullet Points And Lists
Another thing you need to be wary of is a long paragraph.
When someone sees a long paragraph, they immediately tune out. It’d be challenging to grab your employee’s attention once they see a paragraph that’s the size of two football fields.
You might have heard the concept of plain language. One of the guidelines the U.S. Government gives on plain language is the importance of using short paragraphs. Short paragraphs are more accessible and easy to digest. It’s easier to make it through an email that breaks concepts down into smaller chunks.
Write your email the way that you feel inclined to write it. Once you are done, go over it to see where you can tighten things up. Give everything space to breathe. White space is your friend.
4) Set Employee Onboarding Emails To Expire If They Include Confidential Information
Sometimes you need to send out an email with confidential company information. Before your new employee gets their official company email address, they might be storing sensitive content in a personal email address.
If you have to send out confidential information, you can set employee onboarding emails to expire after a certain period.
For example, if your company uses G Suite to send emails, there is a button you can press while sending it to activate confidential mode. You can set an expiration day and require a passcode for accessing the information within.
Don’t use confidential mode for every email. Expiring emails should only be used for emails with identifying information, passwords, and stuff you wouldn’t want a hacker to see. If it’s something simple like a welcome email, keep it open. Your new employee might want to go back and read it later.
5) Personalization Is Key
If you are used to writing mass customer-focused emails, you might not be able to add much personalization to the emails you send. Your employee is different. Your employee is someone you want to bond with. They can become a potential friend and confidant over time. There is an amount of formality you need in your first few emails, but don’t go overboard.
Here are a few ways to add personalization to emails:
Use Their Name
People love the sound of their name. If you want to connect with someone immediately, start the email by addressing them by their first name. Everyone responds to “Hey Amanda,” better than “Hey.”
Make sure you are taking the time to address each email the right way. If you are using a template, replace any names before you hit send.
Let Them Know Why They Were Hired
People adore compliments. They make us feel appreciated and happy. If you feel inclined, include a snippet about why they were hired in one of your first employee onboarding emails. This quick addition is a perfect personalization, and it gets your new employee excited about their new role.
6) Don’t Be Afraid To Show Your Company Personality
Another way to connect with your employees early on is to show company personality in your employee onboarding emails. Your company has a specific touch that makes a gigantic difference to employees. Don’t hold that back! Share it with your new team member.
Add Memes, Videos, And GIFs
Take some time to make or create something that speaks to the brand your organization has built. Are you quirky? Playful? Innovative? Nostalgic? These brand adjectives will play a role in how you show up and what you decide to include in your employee onboarding emails. Don’t abandon the principles that make your brand unique once you onboard your new employee.
Use Brand Colors
Another way to include company personality is through the use of brand colors. Connect with the marketing department at your company. Do they have any specific brand fonts, colors, and sizes they use when communicating with people externally? You should probably use those same colors for internal communication to keep things consistent.
Include Brand Words
Next, you’ll want to consider brand words. You might not think of any words off the top of your mind. Consider words:
- You hear around the office all the time.
- Connected to your vision, values, or mission.
- That show up on products, blog posts, and social media often.
You shouldn’t just start the email with a word like “monthly recurring revenue.” Think, instead, of words that your team uses to show excitement or make a point. Use words that make your new employee feel like part of the group, even if they haven’t had their first day.
Emojis Help Too
If all else fails, use an emoji. Adding in a few clapping hands or a person working behind a computer can make all the difference. In today’s conversations, emojis share a lot of information with your new employee. Adding an emoji or two in an employee onboarding email is the perfect way to make it more fun.
7) Do A Quick Grammar Check Before You Send Emails
You are setting the tone for new employees. No one has perfect grammar. You’ll likely make a mistake or two when sending a new email, but you don’t want to send an email riddled with errors. There are fantastic grammar checkers available now like Grammarly, Hemingway, Ginger, and ProWritingAid, to name a few. Don’t be afraid to use these tools to your advantage, especially if writing isn’t your strong suit.
8) Consider The Mobile Experience
Sometimes email formatting can get complicated. Even a plain text email can look wonky on a mobile phone, and you want to be able to spot that beforehand. If your text isn’t resizing correctly on mobile devices, this can cause a variety of issues. A lot of this goes back to an earlier point of using shorter paragraphs, but it goes beyond that:
- Make sure emails are breaking up properly on mobile and not scrolling off the page.
- Resize images and GIFs to ensure that they don’t weigh down the email.
- If you use a template, keep it simple and one-column. You want to make sure that you can place everything correctly as the email area shrinks down.
9) Don’t Forget An Enticing Subject Line
Even if employees are looking forward to an email from you, things can still get lost in the shuffle. Keep the subject line simple, helpful, and enticing. Include words that make sense for the type of email you are sending. What subject would someone be looking for if they were looking for a welcome email?
Add Urgent Or Respond Now Labels To Important Emails
We’ve all had that time when we needed a response sooner rather than later. We don’t want to send a million emails that could clog someone’s inbox. Instead, make it known from the start that you need a quick response.
For example, you could write, “[RESPOND NOW] Welcome To The (Company Name) Team, Amanda!” This simple bracketed statement lets your new team member know that you need her response now instead of when she has some free time.
10) Consider The From Address
Understanding names and email addresses at a new company takes time. If you know that you’ll be emailing someone you didn’t interview, ask the person who interviewed to make the connection or share your email with the new employee. If your new employee is used to getting emails from Jessica in HR, but you are Paul from Marketing, make sure that Jessica introduces you before you shoot over your email.
This introduction can be as simple as:
- Jessica letting the new employee know to be on the lookout from an email from Paul in the next few days. OR
- Jessica can write a quick intro email to the new employee while CCing Paul.
Either way, this will help ensure that your new employee doesn’t miss any onboarding email.
Bonus: Follow-Up To Make Sure That Emails Were Received Correctly
Last but not least, you should master the art of the follow-up. Emails get lost in the shuffle, especially if multiple emails are sent to an already crowded personal inbox. If you are struggling to break through, take some time to craft a follow-up email.
Follow-up emails should be short, sweet, and to the point. Instead of recapping the entire email, get straight to the point: what do you need from the new employee to proceed with your job?
Chances are your new employee will be excited to get started and keep up on their own. If that’s not the case, you have to step up to make sure that all onboarding tasks get done on time.
Create a spreadsheet to keep you organized or use a tool like the WorkBright staff progress page that comes with our onboarding solution.
Conclusion: Write Stellar Employee Onboarding Emails
Communicating with new employees through onboarding emails is a great way to build relationships between you and the new employee. We hope these simple hacks will help you craft emails that convey the right information to your new hires.