The welcome booklet is an essential tool that every new employee should have when starting in a new company.
We will go through the most important aspects to keep in mind and give you some examples so you can succeed when making yours !
To publish a welcome booklet is not an obligation, but it is a necessity. During the first days of work at a company, the new employee is flooded with information. About their job and their tasks, about the daily life of the company, the internal policy…An employee handbook will summarize all this information, and will make the employee onboarding easier.
Welcome booklet: definition
It is truly a guide that will make the arrival of the new employees easier, and that will help them navigate through the company. The more complete this guide will be, the more it will help the new employees to integrate. Therefore, it includes information about :
the company, its activity and history
the daily life, the internal policy
the key people to contact in each department
the cafeteria or restaurant of the company
HR information on their health insurance, their entitled holidays, etc
A newcomer should receive this document on his/her first day from the person who welcomes him/her, may it be a HR person or a manager.
The other role of the employee handbook
Beyond its practical information, this document is also a concrete sign that the company cares for its employees. It shows that they were expected, and that everything was done so that their arrival would be as smooth as possible.
The welcome booklet therefore works towards a feeling of integration of the new employees, and can contribute to their commitment to their company.
How to structure a welcome booklet
In order to be really effective, this document must be clear, easy to read and well structured. It should be put together by the communication teams together with the HR team members, and all the departments involved, so that it is as exhaustive as possible.
The first step is to identify all the information that a new employee will need. Then, the information must be organised in a way that every piece is easily found. For example, those things should not be mixed :
All that has to do with the context (about the company, its business, its activities)
The presentation of the benefits offered (health insurance, stock options, etc)
Practical information for their daily lives
Don’t forget about the presentation…
The employee handbook is also a reflection of the company culture. The way it is presented will say a lot about the internal atmosphere. Some companies choose very simple and precise formats, some will go for bolder options. Everything is possible, as long as the booklet is in line with the values of the company.
Readability is also essential. Being exhaustive does not mean long and technical texts, on the contrary. You would otherwise take the risk that the handbook is never read.
Don’t hesitate to use images, photos that represent the company, the business, the employees. Your employee handbook will have a more human feel to it, and make the first overview of the company more concrete.
… and the format
It is equally important to think about the document in itself. Should it be a small document that employees can carry around, a binder, a bound booklet… This will depends on your editorial direction.
You should also ask yourself the question of a soft copy. If the new employee loses his/her handbook, if an employee who has been here for years needs some detailed information about a specific subject, giving them the option to find the answer to their questions online, on the intranet for instance, can be very useful.
The welcome booklet is an ever evolving tool
Once your welcome booklet is ready, it is a good idea to test it before giving it away massively to newcomers. Give a few copies to existing employees to get their feedback. Would they have benefited from it in their first days? Would it have answered all their questions? Their answers will help you refine your document.
Plan to update it on a regular basis. Giving away a handbook that has outdated information can negatively impact their first impressions, making them feel not as welcome as you would have wished.
We hope you now have a better understanding to approach this new project. Good luck!