How do you create a concise and welcoming experience for your employee’s first day?
If you follow our blog, you might have seen that we’ve previously written about digital onboarding of new employees. It’s also the perfect occasion to give your new hire your employee handbook.
Generally speaking, you want your new employee to understand your company’s objectives, goals, values, and processes. While you might have discussed some during the job interview, you want to offer clear guidance and explain your expectations and processes in detail.
We all know the first day at work is overwhelming, and while you might discuss everything in person, your employee will appreciate a handbook with all relevant information they can refer back to when they need it.
An employee handbook is your opportunity to make a real impression. You can be friendly, attentive, funny, direct, or straightforward and really make your company shine. Besides showing off your culture, here is what we recommend including.
Welcome your new employee and explain what to expect on their first day. Also, give a brief overview of the information you provide in the handbook.
Your company’s introduction
Introduce yourself and tell the story of how your company was founded and why. Share more about the key people and what their role is within the company. Also, use this space to give an overview of your company’s values and what they mean.
Your standards and ethics
Make sure you include your standard of operations and your thoughts and policies on the different matters. Whether it’s confidentiality, an anti-harassment policy, a child labor prohibition statement, or your environmental standards, you should clarify these right from the start to consolidate your business’ ethics and ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Your visual appearance requirements
Whether it’s a specific font you want to see used in all documents or you require a specific dress code, this too is the sort of information to include in an employee handbook.
Every workspace is different, and every company has its unique culture. It’s important to set the house rules straight from the start. At the end of the day, you can’t expect employees to adhere to standards you haven’t clarified.
We recommend including:
– How to use the different rooms
– How to book a meeting room
– How to recycle
– Your policies for lunch, breaks, snacks, etc.
– … And what to do if the employee is the last person at the office.
How you work
You can also include your company’s hierarchy and how you collaborate, report, and give feedback. List the different tools you use and who’s responsible for the different areas. Outline your office hours, when people are expected to be at the office, and what your policy is for working from home. All these things should be clarified in your employee handbook.
– Last but not least, use the employee handbook to clarify the following:
– What’s your payment, feedback, and performance review procedure?
– What benefits do you offer?
– How can employees request individual training and personal development?
– What about expenses? How do they get reimbursed? What do they need to provide to get their money? Most of all, what expenses are eligible for reimbursement?
– How does one request time off?
– What’s the correct procedure for unscheduled absence (sickness), whom they should contact, and what timing do you expect?
Finally, and if you have employees from other countries, you might want to add more general information about what’s considered normal in your country regarding punctuality, public holidays, and what you do for them in your company. How do you celebrate different occasions? Use this space to inform your employees about things they might not dare to ask even though they will most likely be grateful if you address these topics, too.