Putting Together an Employee Orientation Manual
Defining the Purpose
There can be a few different purposes for orientation manuals and a few different directions you can go. Often, for instance, an orientation manual contains step by step directions on how to perform the specific task that the employee was hired to do. Much more often, orientation manuals are used as a way of introducing the new hire to the company, its history, and its policies regarding rules and standards of employee behavior, expected attendance, vacation and sick day systems, and disciplinary policies. Of course, there is no rule against making an orientation manual that combines all of these purposes, it will just take some customization when it comes to the different jobs and tasks at your business.
Make An Outline
Not only will making an outline help you organize the booklet, it will help give you an idea what sections you will feel all right about writing yourself, and which parts you might need some help on. In any event, you will want to make sure that an HR professional and a lawyer with some experience in these matters take a quick look at the outline to make sure that everything that needs to be included is in there.
If the orientation book you are putting together does contain instructions on how to do a certain job, make sure that you speak with the most knowledgeable person in your company regarding that job. After getting all the information you can from that person, write the piece and have him or her read it over to make sure that it is clear and correct.
There are likely quite a few already-existing forms that you will want to have included in your book including job specifications, organizational chart including names, titles, and contact information.
Other Items To Include
Your company may have certain ways of doing things that your new employees might be interested in, such as ordering lunch for all when there is a birthday, etc. This is a great way to let your new hires know about such things, as well as any sorts of amenities that are offered such as free soda, on-site classes, shuttle service, etc.
Before you are finished writing your manual, conduct small, brief interviews with a couple of your newer people and ask them what they wish had been included in the manual when they got hired, or what kind of information they lacked their first couple of weeks on the job.
A warm, welcoming introduction letter from the highest ranking officer in the company as well as in your division is a nice touch.
Also include a sheet that the employee can sign acknowledging they have received and read the orientation manual.
Three-ring binders are the easiest way to go, and make additions to the booklet a snap. Plastic comb and spiral coil are good options as well. The key is to make the book functional and readable in a hands free fashion, especially if it contains instructions on how to do a specific job.
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12 May 2010 by LoreenC 357