There's nothing like welcoming a new employee to your business.
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But the exhilaration of the first day can be quickly devoured by new hire paperwork. Although it would be nice to offload that responsibility to a full-fledged HR department, someone is ultimately going have to step up to the plate – and you need to have your act together before the employee shows up for work.
The best way to prepare for a new employee is to create a new employee planner kit. Once the kit has been created, it can be duplicated and used for all new hires, eliminating the potential for chaos and clearing the way for a pleasant first day experience. New employee planner kits are not the same as welcome kits. Instead of being given to the new hire, these kits facilitate paperwork requirements for managers or HR personnel and typically include the following items:
- New employee checklist. A new employee checklist is probably the most useful piece of material in the entire kit. If it's been prepared thoughtfully, it will cover all of the essential issues involved with a new hire and make it easy for non-HR personnel to facilitate the employment process.
- Welcome DVD. Some companies include a welcome DVD in the new hire planner kit. The orientation supervisor and the new employee watch this together, and discuss any issues or questions that arise from the presentation.
- Payroll & holiday calendars. New employees are always interested in receiving the company's payroll schedule and holiday calendar. These schedules can also be accompanied by a reiteration of vacation and sick day policies.
- W-4 forms. W-4 forms are IRS forms that establish the amount of withholding the employee wants deducted from their paycheck. W-4s are relatively simple to complete, but they must be signed and dated by each new employee.
- I-9 forms. I-9s are U.S. Citizenship and Immigration forms that prove the new employee is eligible for work in the U.S. There are both employee and employer sections of the form that need to be completed.
- Employment agreements. Every new hire should receive a copy of the Employee Handbook on their first day of work. If you have already enrolled the individual in the company's email system, this can be emailed as a PDF, presented in hard copy form or both. The new employee planner kit should also include an employment agreement and handbook acknowledgement form that is signed by the employee and archived in his personnel file.