Productivity tips, calendar hacks, & product updates from the Reclaim team.

Welcome to The Team! 7 Best Apps for New Hires
September 28, 2022

Welcoming a new hire is an exciting part of managing a growing team! But bringing on a team member can feel like a lot of pressure – you want to make sure you make a good impression on the first day, and set them up for lasting success as they take the reins on their new position. 

The comforting thing to remember is that everyone gets a little nervous when it comes to starting a new job – employees and managers alike! 

So in this blog post, we’ll show you how to make your newest team member feel welcome, and share the 7 best apps to recommend to your hires to boost their organization and productivity.

Setting new hires up for success

So you’re onboarding a new team member – congratulations! After an often lengthy hiring process, this is a huge achievement for both the growing team and individual who scored the position. When it comes to welcoming new employees – managers, HR, and their team members all play a part in setting up for success. 

Why is it so important to properly welcome a new hire, and how do you make sure you get off on the right foot? The onboarding experience has a big impact on employee productivity right from the start. And when done right, a good onboarding process can improve new hire productivity up to 70% and boost retention rate by 82% in those critical first weeks. We all know what they say about first impressions - and while that can feel like a lot of pressure - with a few simple steps, you can easily make the most of the opportunity for a great start. 

Onboarding checklist for new hires:

  1. Write a welcome email. Before they start, share your enthusiasm about them joining your team in a welcome email. This is also a great opportunity to set expectations with a plan for their first day so they can feel prepared. Also be sure to let the rest of the team know about the new addition ahead of time so there are no awkward surprises.
  2. Make a 30-day plan. Set them up for success with new hire orientation, relevant training materials, and an itinerary to guide them through onboarding for at least the next 30-days (or a longer-term 30-60-90 day plan) to set clear goals for the early stages. 
  3. Set them up with equipment and apps. Prepare any equipment for your new hire ahead of time, and make sure to send it out a few days in advance if the employee will be working remotely. It’s also helpful to compile a list of apps they’ll use and share how to access so they can set them all up on their first day (The best apps for your new hire below!).
  4. Introduce the team! Whether at the next team meeting, or through the team’s main chat app, share a quick introduction of both the new hire, and all existing team members, so everyone can say hello!

How to welcome new colleagues 

Making a new team member feel welcome to the team is super important - not only in making a good first impression - but to lay the foundation for collaborative relationships down the road. Even seasoned pros can get nervous on the first day with new colleagues – so always take a minute to say “hello”! 

If you’re stumped on what to say, here are a few simple tips to get you started on a welcome message that hits it off.

Tips for writing a welcome message to a new team member:

  1. Congratulate them on their new position! 
  2. Introduce yourself and what you do.
  3. Offer your availability to answer questions.
  4. Set up a casual 1:1 meeting to get to each other (important if you’re going to be working together!).
  5. Finish with a positive note.

Example welcome message template:

“Welcome to the team [Name]! I’m [Name], the [position] and I’m looking forward to working together in [department/project/etc.]. I’ll be available if any questions come up, and we can set up a 1:1 meeting when you’re settled in to chat more next week. Hope you have a great first day!”

7 best productivity-boosting apps for new hires 

Now that your new team member has been successfully welcomed – it's time to help them navigate the onboarding process, adjust with less stress, and support their efforts in the future. 

Let’s dive into some of the best app recommendations to maximize time management, engagement, and personal wellness for new employees – while also boosting productivity and company culture for the entire team.

1. - for automated productivity is a smart calendar app for Google Calendar that helps you automatically find the best time for things you need to get done every day – including tasks, regular routines, your 1:1 meetings, regular breaks, and even defends your personal events for you on your work calendar. Instead of fumbling through the day trying to figure out what to do next, Reclaim automatically builds you the perfect weekly plan around your priorities, improving your time efficiency by 41.1%. This makes it easier to determine what to take on next with less decision paralysis so you can stay on track of your goals and improve your work-life balance with actual boundaries in your calendar.

If you haven’t already heard of time blocking – it is a time management technique that boosts productivity up to 81% by scheduling realistic time ‘blocks’ for your individual to-dos throughout the day. This method reduces context switching and helps limit distractions and interruptions during the workday. 

2. Forest - for fun, distraction-free focus 

Forest is an app that gamifies focus time to help employees maximize their productivity without getting distracted by their phones. When turned on, Forest app plants ‘trees’ in a virtual forest for the time that you don’t touch your phone. The longer you stay distraction free, the larger your forest grows! 

Facilitating more flow-state time via deep work helps teams harness their full innovative and creative potential – and, in turn, actually boosts job satisfaction when they feel more engaged with their work. Plus, Forest then plants actual trees globally with Trees for the Future when users spend the coins earned in the app. 

3. Bonusly - for positive engagement 

Bonusly is an employee recognition app that you can recommend to your whole team to boost positive engagement by sharing rewards and shoutouts to coworkers for outstanding performance!

Team members who feel appreciated and acknowledged at work are actually up to 20% more productive – so creating more appreciation and alignment with coworker-submitted rewards is a great way to let your newest employees connect with the team, all while building a positive work environment for everyone.

4. Scribe - for step-by-step guides

Scribe is a standard operating procedure (SOP) app that optimizes creating, managing, and updating step-by-step work instructions for future hires. Prepping tutorials can become a huge time sink, especially when you aren’t actually an expert in that role’s responsibilities. With easy to follow, visual guide templates on Scribe – new hires can learn new processes from the person who created them!  

While this is an awesome app for new hires – Scribe starts as a recommendation for the existing team to create SOPs as they develop new processes and procedures. You just have to record the process and let Scribe automatically create a video guide with clicks, screenshots, and written instructions for a more time efficient onboarding process for everyone involved.

5. Evernote - for centralized notes

If there’s one thing onboarding comes with, it’s a lot of notes! Evernote is an advanced note-taking app that optimizes the process in one centralized place with search capabilities, to-do list tracking, memo notes, even file storage for any company-owned docs.

Evernote makes it easy for your newest team member to familiarize themselves with their new role, without having to keep track of all those stray papers and docs holding the important information. And it sets them up for an organized workflow down the line!

6. 1Password - for password management

A password manager is a must-have for company security and optimization across accounts, and 1Password is a long-time authority in the field. Onboarding comes a lot of new logins and passwords to keep track of – and that’s information you definitely don’t want your new hire making notes of in something like Evernote. 

1Password makes it easy to securely store shared passwords, company credit card information, and other sensitive information. That way team members only need to remember a single master password to get logged in everywhere they need – and don’t get blocked up having to troubleshoot locked accounts with IT! 

7. Headspace - for employee wellness

Headspace is a health app that offers guided meditations and mindfulness exercises to help new hires (and existing teams!) unlock their full potential from the inside out. As more companies start incorporating mental-health benefits to better support their employees, it can make a huge difference to get ahead of new job stressors like anxiety and imposter syndrome

The reality is, a tired, demotivated, or mentally exhausted employee cannot excel in their role. Maximizing your team’s productivity starts with actively encouraging their wellbeing. Along with healthier work-life balance, realistic workloads, and a positive work environment – a mindfulness app like Headspace can promote healthier habits that allow everyone on the team to thrive. 

Welcome to the team! 

Effectively welcoming a new hire goes beyond just making warm introductions. It requires building out a toolkit that helps maximize immediate and long-term success right from the very first day. 

Try recommending some of these apps to foster productivity and engagement during onboarding – or even incorporate them company-wide to reap benefits for the existing team as well as future additions as the team grows. 

What tips did we miss for best welcoming a new hire to your team? Any apps we missed that you would add to the list? Tweet us @reclaimai! We love hearing from you. 👋

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