Make New Employees Feel Welcome with a Rewarding Onboarding Experience

Onboarding is an important part of both recruitment and retention that makes new employees feel valued and sets them up for success.

10 min read
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The first day at a new job or office sets the tone for a new employee's career and longevity with that company. Treating new hires to an engaging and encouraging onboarding experience improves loyalty, encourages productivity, and strengthens company culture.

Why is the onboarding experience important?

Onboarding, or orientation, is the process of welcoming a new employee into an organization or business. Onboarding is particularly important as it integrates new employees into the culture and values of their new workplace, and also sets new employees up with the support and guidance that are essential to doing their jobs well and maximizing their engagement with work. 

Onboarding can take a day, a week, or even up to a year. Ensuring a new employee is successfully and comprehensively onboarded will reduce attrition, lower absenteeism, and increase employee commitment. In the same way a new employee aims to earn the trust of their new employer, a company is inspiring a new employee to work hard for them and their customers.  

How to create a great onboarding experience

Get new team members off to a great start with this list of onboarding best practices:

  • Make your new hire feel welcome: This may sound straightforward, but kindness and a warm welcome go a long way. Prioritizing the comfort of a new team member will show them the level of respect and care that is expected on your team.  

  • Encourage questions: Your new employee may be nervous — that's normal on the first day of any new experience, so it's essential they feel supported. Be sure to encourage questions and answer openly, honestly, and without judgment. The best way to learn is by being curious.   

  • Create community: Onboarding a new employee is an opportunity to put your company culture on display. Sharing team initiatives like a run club or weekly lunch socials will showcase the value your company places on creating a workplace employees enjoy being part of. According to a DoorDash survey, about three-fourths (74%) agree that sharing meals together positively contributes to company culture.

  • Make a plan: Create a plan with specific objectives and timeframes to set expectations and prepare your new employee to adopt company policies, achieve project goals, and meet their objectives. Offer to support them with additional training if needed.

  • Introduce an onboarding buddy: Having a dedicated coworker to ask questions and get the inside scoop on the office and training procedures is very helpful during the onboarding process. Feeling supported builds lasting team connections.

  • Make the first day special: Organizing a team lunch, stocking the snack cupboard, or planning an activity that brings your employees together will make your new hire feel welcome. Allowing your existing employees the opportunity to brainstorm a special welcome will make everyone feel included.

  • Design a welcome package: A welcome package can be given before or on a new employee's start date. Offering your new hire a welcome package with some branded company swag like a hat or coffee mug, or a DoorDash meal voucher to order a customizable dish, will demonstrate that they're part of the team. You can use a welcome package as a way to showcase your company's culture.  

  • Make it fun: On a new employee's first day, try to balance any necessary initial paperwork with prioritizing fun and getting to know one another. There is a lot of administration that comes with the onboarding process, so get the essential pieces signed and save the rest for later in the week. 

DDfB - Blog - Make New Employees Feel Welcome with a Rewarding Onboarding Experience - remote employee in chair in front of computer during meeting

Best practices for remote employee onboarding

With the continued popularity of remote or hybrid work, it's also important to extend onboarding practices to team members who are not exclusively in-office.

  • Offer in-person onboarding: It can be tough to start a new job from home. If possible, bring new employees together in person to onboard. Meeting a few team members face to face and experiencing an onboarding tour of the office creates valuable in-person connections. This may involve travel and a longer first day, but employers can compensate by providing a subsidized lunch and offering a later start time.

  • Subsidize home office expenses: Ensure your employees feel looked after and appreciated by subsidizing home office furniture and supplies. Sending by mail, or having your employee pick up a supply of the equipment or tools they'll need for their remote work, shows you're thinking ahead. Offering essentials, plus a few non-essentials like snacks or extra stationary, is a chance to let employees know you want them to be comfortable.    

  • Organize social opportunities: Setting up recurring virtual social calls, happy hours, or remote team lunches helps employees feel part of the team. Creating informal opportunities for employees to connect and get to know one another strengthens loyalty to their team and your company. Create a Slack channel to connect employees between get-togethers.  

DDfB - Blog - Make New Employees Feel Welcome with a Rewarding Onboarding Experience - employee eating in front of computer during onboarding meeting

DoorDash for Business helps create the best onboarding experiences

To paraphrase an old saying, the way to a new employee's heart is through their stomach. Sharing meals, and team-bonding over food, is a large part of what makes a good onboarding experience.

  • Offer in-house snacks and drinks: Your new hire is sure to be impressed if your onboarding checklist includes a visit to the snack cupboard. Providing snacks and catering to your in-office, hybrid and remote teams is a great job perk and demonstrates to your new employee that your team is well cared for. 

  • Provide expensed team meals: Treat your new employee and their team to a one-time or recurring expensed meal budget or group lunch order. Employees can order an individual dish to fit their unique taste and dietary preferences and meals will be automatically expensed to the company account. The DoorDash survey shows that a leading reason why employees want to return to in-person work full-time includes being offered company-supplied meals (38%). Offering an expensed meal on your new hire's first day is a great way to welcome them.

  • Enjoy a meal together: Eating together encourages teamwork and builds culture. More than three in five employed Americans (61%) believe that eating together encourages people to talk about things other than work, while 60% say they get to know their coworkers in a more casual setting. Demonstrate the value of employee camaraderie during the onboarding experience by enjoying food together.

  • Give gift cards: As part of your new employee welcome pack, include DoorDash for Business gift cards to support them through the first few weeks in their new role. Acknowledging there will be a learning curve and taking away the need to plan lunches will make your new hire feel appreciated.  

DoorDash can become an integral part of a new employee onboarding process, making new team members feel welcomed and included through shared employee meals and team socials. See how DoorDash for Business can help provide a standout new employee onboarding experience.


Jenn Riek

Jenn Riek

Content Marketing, DoorDash