E-mail has had a remarkable impact on the ability of companies to celebrate the arrival of a new hire. No longer does a firm have to paper-trail hard copies into cumbersome wire-mesh boxes atop desks inside cubicles, or call away employees from their desks for a brief meeting. Now, a company e-mail can do the same trick.
In fact, in many cases, such firm-wide communications have taken the place of a solitary letter formerly delivered to the employee in question. By broadening the reach of a new hire welcome letter to all of that person’s co-workers, it helps foster a sense of workplace community and makes the whole process more enjoyable.
With this new channel has come a generally more casual tone. For example, when Nick Goldberg, editor of the LA Times’ editorial pages, welcomed new hires Carla Hall and Sandra Hernandez in February of 2011, he did so warmly and informally.(1)
“During a brief career as an actress, she [Hall] played a drug dealer in a TV show produced by the World Wrestling Federation,” Goldberg wrote. This is both a funny little aside and something that immediately humanizes Hall as more than just a warm body filling an open, job slot.
Humor is Also OK
As a sign of just how far the Welcome Letter has come, consider another recent media missive of this sort, from online news pioneer Nick Denton.(2) “We used to think that PR was for losers, that our stories sold themselves,” the managing editor of a number of high-profile news and gossip sites begins.
Later on, in welcoming media veteran Kevin Prince as the firm’s PR chief, Denton writes that he “is friendlier than you think”, based on an attached photo. In other words, all old school stuff bets are off. Today’s new hire welcome letter, as delivered by email, can be loose, funny, in all cases where that approach reflects the corporate culture of the company.
(1) LAObserved.com – “New Editorial Writers at the Los Angeles Times”, February 11, 2011, Retrieved June 5, 2011 from http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2011/02/new_editorial_writers_at.php
(2) PR Newser – Former ‘Early Show’ Producer Joins Gawker as PR Manager, January 3, 2011, Retrieved June 5, 2011 from http://www.mediabistro.com/prnewser/former-early-show-producer-joins-gawker-as-pr-manager_b11993