Company policies checklist for new hires

When onboarding new employees, present your key company policies to help them adjust to their new workplace. Doing so will help new hires understand:

  • Do’s and don’ts in the workplace
  • Appropriate behaviors
  • Their obligations and rights

company policies checklist for new hires

Consider giving new hires an employee handbook, either in digital or physical format, where they can find details about all policies in one place. Send this handbook to employees before they start so that they can read policies at their own pace.

To ensure new hires understand and follow all your policies, be available during their first days to answer questions they may have. It’s best if someone on your HR team schedules a policies presentation during new hires’ first day or week.

Here’s a company policies checklist to help you cover all the basics new hires should learn:

  • Compensation policy. Present your company’s compensation policy. Make sure to cover:
    • Payroll schedule (e.g. at the end of each month or biweekly)
    • Ways to receive paycheck, if applicable (e.g. via direct deposit, mail or in-person)
    • Legal terms about overtime pay, if applicable
    • Job performance-related bonuses
  • Employee leave policy. Mention the types and number of leaves that employees are eligible for. Also, describe how to request time off (e.g. send an email to managers or submit a form through an internal system.) Time off could refer to:
    • Paid time off (or vacation days)
    • Unpaid time off
    • Days when the company doesn’t operate (e.g. bank holidays)
    • Sick leave
    • Parental leave
    • Special occasions (e.g. jury duty)
  • Performance review policy. Describe your company’s performance review process. Explain:
    • The purpose and frequency of employee performance appraisals (e.g. quarterly)
    • Your performance appraisal software (if applicable)
    • Topics you usually cover (e.g. quantitative results)
    • Your goal-setting process
    • Less formal methods to collect and share feedback (e.g. regular 1:1s)
  • Workplace regulations. Provide an overview of important workplace rules. These could include:
    • Daily schedule (times of arrival and end of workday)
    • Breaks (e.g. lunch)
    • Personal workstation management (e.g. locking drawers)
    • Internet usage for personal matters
    • Parking restrictions, if relevant
  • Workplace safety policy. Explain all measures you take to establish safety in the workplace. For example:
    • Show where emergency exits are located in the building
    • Go over basic guidelines for security (e.g. how to use access tokens)
    • Describe your visitors policy
  • Employee confidentiality policy. Discuss confidentiality rules and data protection procedures. Particularly, if your new hire will handle sensitive data, mention:
    • What kind of information is considered classified
    • How to share and store important documents (whether physical or digital)
    • How to secure computers and the office
  • Benefits overview. Describe what’s included in your perks and benefits package. Make sure to provide necessary forms hires need to complete and manuals that explain terms in detail. Employee perks and benefits could include:
    • Health and life insurance plan
    • Stock options
    • Mobile plan
    • Use of company car
    • Bonus options
    • Wellness programs
  • Remote work policy. Explain your policy for remote work and flexible working hours, if you have one. Cover:
    • How to request work-from-home days (e.g. via email or internal HR software)
    • Employee obligations while working remotely (e.g. employees need a strong Internet connection)
    • Out-of-office best practices (e.g. employees should work in a private, quiet space and be available via the company’s messaging app)
    • Any limitations (e.g. employees can’t work remotely during the launch of a new product)
  • Employee travel policy. Describe your travel policy, if relevant. Provide the basics and make sure to offer a refresher before a new hire’s first business trip. Cover:
    • Frequency and timing of travel (e.g. for company events or quarterly meetings with distributed team members)
    • Travel expenses you cover
    • How to reimburse expenses
    • Documents employees need for travel (e.g. passport and visa)
  • Employee development and education policies. Mention training and development initiatives you offer employees. This could refer to:
    • Regular trainings your company conducts (related to the new hire’s position)
    • Conferences and workshops
    • Resources (e.g. books and subscriptions)
    • Online courses
    • Education budget
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