Meaningful Employee Experiences Matter: Creating Delight through Employee Swag

December 16, 2022
Felicia Malapit
VP of People

You’ve hooked the talent with an attractive role and a great company culture. It’s a perfect fit on both sides, they’ve accepted the offer, and everyone is excited to start the onboarding process. But then, a boring new hire swag kit arrives, filled with outdated items they won’t use and the excitement prematurely fades.

Sound familiar? Chances are we’ve all received swag that didn’t spark joy.

With the right tools and resources, you can curate a swag kit sure to delight and kick off a great employee experience from day 1 and beyond.

What is corporate swag and why is it so important?

employee swag

By swag, or ‘Stuff We All Get,’ I mean the promotional items that companies use to promote their own brand and culture. The TL;DR: it’s an extension of a brand and the organizational culture, not only internally but externally: through the people of the organization as well as the use and wearing of branded items.

It’s this very ‘Stuff We All Get’ created by top branded merchandise companies that can be so impactful in employee experiences and the boosting of passive marketing. It can also play a big part in creating great first impressions and building stronger company culture, especially in this remote world. Let’s dig in.

The top employee swag ideas for 2023

top employee swag

When it comes to the best ideas for new hire swag kits, recognizing your employees and building employer branding in 2023, we’ve got you covered. The opportunity to create meaningful employee experiences starts the day they sign their offer. Having a strong strategy in place is key to keeping employees engaged during their company journey.

Remember when creating this strategy, it’s the little things that count. Instead of including a generic notecard in their new hire swag kit, Postal’s platform allows you to include a handwritten note from their manager, creating those warm fuzzies and good feels. Perhaps it’s a remote employee and doing a team lunch in person isn’t an option. Well, by including a Doordash gift card in their new hire kit, you can still create a fun (virtual) team lunch and time to get to know each other.

If your employee is remote or hybrid, consider including a plant to help them create a home work environment that helps them be most productive. For more ideas, explore Postal’s corporate gifting marketplace to give HR teams access to choose from thousands of sustainably-sourced items and experiences.

Deliver unforgettable employee experiences with branded new hire kits

new employee onboarding kit

I’m not referring to pages of documents and a branded pen; we’re talking about employee swag kits.

Whether they include t-shirts, coffee mugs or backpacks, company swag kits are often thought of as a bunch of generic items with the company’s logo on them. However, in the age of unboxing, the focus on less waste, and the creation of better goods (think the always warm Ember mug), swag kits have become a symbol of a company’s ethos.

Do your kits contain items that meet people where they are (remember, you can include WFH specific items for your remote folks)? Is the unboxing experience ‘gram worthy? Do the items delight? If not, it’s time to recreate your swag kits. By becoming a Postal customer, you’ll have access to our internal creative agency, Paper Plane Marketing, which specializes in sourcing and curating branded kits that are guaranteed to elevate employee experience.

Build an employee swag store

Meaningful employee swag kits kick-start employee engagement and experience. A great way to build upon that is by creating a store for your company with Postal Brand, where employees can choose the items they love the most. 

An item that’s chosen = an item that’s used. With the increased focus around sustainability, ensuring that swag is wanted reduces the amount of waste and creates those little moments of delight. By building your own store, you can curate the items to ensure they reflect the quality and culture of the company, and create opportunities for better employee engagement. Feel free to peruse our swag store for inspiration on that note.

Hey, Mike, cool sweatshirt. I didn’t know that was in our store, I need to check that out!

It won't be long after launching your employee swag store when comments like these start flying around your Slack channels or office.

Source unique company swag

When it comes to finding the right swag company, there are a few things to consider. Will the company be able to offer truly unique branded items? Can they personalize our company swag? Can they customize based on our needs and the audience? Is the pricing right for us? Is shipping efficient? Getting these details right from the beginning ensures success in the swag you send your employees and the corporate swag you send to customers.

Once you’ve found a company that checks the big boxes, it’s time to dial in the finer details, like the packaging, design and overall experience. Remember, it all starts with a branded box.

Consider this: when was the last time you received a new hire swag kit?

Was it memorable? Did you actually use all of the items provided? Did they spark joy? If not, let’s use that learning to create a better experience for our people and customers as we move into 2023.

In addition to our own learnings, let’s look at the numbers. Research from Brandon Hall Group show that a strong onboarding process improves new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. Additionally, 50% of employees said they would go above and beyond if they were given a great onboarding experience, while 40% said they would consider looking for another role if they were given a poor onboarding experience.

With numbers like these, it’s no wonder that Employee Experience is a top priority for more than 90% of employers going into 2023.

There’s no better way to kick off that great experience than by that special box of surprise, the new hire swag kit.

The benefits of small business swag and its impact on building culture from the start of onboarding

building company culture with virtual events

Supporting small business is more important now than ever, and is a great way to make your new hire swag kit stand out. When picking out your staples (sleek commuter backpack, a cozy pull-over sweatshirt, soft T-Shirt and Porter mug), start with local apparel makers and merchandisers. Looking to add a unique surprise to your kit? Add in a local bakery’s famous cookies or a pound of coffee from a local roaster. This budget friendly addition is a great way to showcase your commitment to supporting your local community.

Whether you’re looking to elevate your onboarding experience, create a branded swag store for employees, or celebrate milestones for your people, Postal is your all-in-one provider. Request a demo to learn how easy and efficient employee swag management can be.

Remember this: 

It’s your employees who create all the economic value for your enterprise. You need, therefore, to stage a remarkable employee experience.

- B. Joseph Pine II

Felicia Malapit

Felicia Malapit is the VP of People at Postal. Starting her HR career in SaaS and then leading Talent Acquisition in the clean energy space, Felicia was excited to get back to her tech roots with Postal and to help Postal grow from the people up. Outside of work, Felicia loves to do anything outdoors, whether it be hiking, wine tasting, or exploring with her husband and toddler.