Office Safety Booklet


paper clips and thumb tacks

I often come across HR Managers in smaller to mid-sized companies who have a few areas of responsibility outside of HR like for example Office Safety and Facilities. They are often expected to maintain a high level of compliance with constantly changing laws and this can become a daunting task for some. The free resource that I am sharing today is a general Office Safety booklet. It covers several topics relating to the office environment to create more awareness among employees of the do’s and don’ts around staying safe in the office environment.

You can either print it double-sided from the pdf document and make it available to employees as a booklet or you can send them the electronic document to review if they have just joined the company. It is quite easy to turn the booklet into an orientation and discussion session if you want to use it in that way.

Booklet in pdf format. When you click on this link it will provide you with the pdf file (.pdf).

Booklet in powerpoint format When you click on this link it will provide you with the powerpoint file (.ppt).

This booklet is not based on any certified course so it is not a replacement for anyone who needs to undergo a formal exam to be certified in some aspect of safety. It simply helps you, as the HR Manager who has to cover Office Safety, to communicate some basic safety aspects to employees and other visitors to your office who may be working there for a period of time.

This free resource also gives you a basis for an annual office safety check. Depending on expectations from management or compliance requirements you may need to perform an office safety check once per year. Using this booklet you can easily create a list of items to check based on the various categories of topics covered. For example, you can check how many times an accident or incident happened or almost happened per year based on history. Or you can check how people are working or storing items in the working area – are you seeing tripping or falling hazards?

Let me know if you are getting stuck with the creation of a safety checklist from the booklet!

The powerpoint version can be edited and as you read through it some items may not apply to your office environment.  You can simply delete that section or that page. And it is also easy to copy the wording from this version and create training or presentation slides if that is a management expectation you need to meet.

If your company has an office environment next to a manufacturing or production facility this booklet would not cover several topics that a facility like that would require. There are many more rules around production or manufacturing environments, which are not necessarily covered in this booklet. Examples include how to handle dangerous materials and wearing safety equipment for certain activities. I recommend that you contact an expert in safety for your industry to help you create the right training and awareness materials for an industrial application.

I believe this booklet offers a good start in getting safety principles communicated to office employees and I also recommend that you look for more ways to strengthen your office safety program.

Other considerations:

  • Make sure you can tell employees where to assemble outside during a fire drill and how they would recognize the alarm to trigger an evacuation. Also, make sure they know which routes to follow for an evacuation.
  • Ensure you have a First Aid box that is well-stocked to take care of small incidents and cuts. Check it on a regular basis to make sure you are not running out of anything and also that nothing in there is over the use-by date.
  • Is there someone in your office building where your office is located who offers safety assistance – for example, if an employee had a heart attack or a bad fall? If there is not, should someone from your office get that training?
  • Apart from reading a booklet on safety, how can you make sure that employees think safety first in every activity they consider? This would be even more important if your company has safety or employee well-being as a value or a priority.

Small and mid-sized companies often do not have large budgets for creating office safety awareness and it is my hope that this free resource helps you cover ground that would otherwise have been a tough additional action on your HR Manager to-do-list!

Note: Powerpoint has a feature that allows you to print a booklet from the ppt file. Each page in the booklet would then be half the size of a normal A4 page (or Letter if you change the file to American settings) and it would be foldable in the center.

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Starting right – new manager/leader and team


new team leader

A new leader or manager has to quickly connect with the team and understand the objectives and issues around the team and their tasks if he or she wants to be effective in the shortest time possible. At times the team may know the person promoted to be the new leader or manager. The new leader or manager may also be a hire from outside the company or someone who joined the team from a remote part of the organization where there had previously been very little to no interaction with team members. In all cases the team members may have concerns and wonder how the new leader or manager will help the team and them as individuals succeed going forward.

The resource I am sharing is a series of slides which can be used to facilitate a group session with the new leader/manager and the existing team. The focus of the session is to help them accelerate the connection and learning that needs to take place for the team to maintain momentum and reach their goals under new leadership. The session helps the team get to know the new leader/manager and voice their concerns. The new manager/leader also gets to know quickly what the team issues are and how the team feels about progress and possible team obstacles to success, which enables him/her to more accurately set the team’s priorities and focus areas for the next few months.

Starting Right for new leaders/managers link here

The purpose of the group session is :

  • Clarify expectations of manager and expectations of the team
  • Clarify team vision and objectives
  • Identify highest priorities for action and assign owners to resolve and report back

The resource includes some instructions for setting up the activities and also some timing estimates. The slides contain a basic ice breaker/check-in exercise at the start of the session. Consider whether to change this activity for something that better fits with the group/team that you are working with.

Depending on how many issues the team has, the size of the team and how much they already know about the new leader/manager the entire session can take anything from 2 to 4 hours. If you are the facilitator you need to watch the time. Sometimes the first group discussion can take much longer than expected – when they share their answers. This means you need to plan up front : If they go over the planned timing for that portion of the agenda, will you let the discussion continue and defer the rest of the activities to a later date? Or what will you change to ensure you stay within the contracted time with the group while reaching the goals and objectives for the group session?

If time allows I strongly suggest that you include a team meal at the end of the session. This would allow for some informal social interaction between the new leader/manager and the team members, which further solidifies interpersonal relationships within the team and helps the new leader/manager have a good start with the team.

 

 

Ice Breaker for international teams


all hands2

In our globalized world it is very common for employees to have regular contact with people from other cultures and at other international locations. When you are executing projects on a global scale it increases the importance of ensuring that communication and collaboration go as smoothly as possible in order to meet your project objectives. You may be surprised to learn that even seemingly basic project concepts could have different interpretations across cultures and sub-cultures. This exercise that I am sharing with you focuses on intercultural aspects of international teams and can help by clarifying assumptions and expectations at an early stage of your project.

The ice breaker for international teams resource link.

The ice breaker  can be a good item to include in a project kick-off meeting or when you are adding a few more people from a different office/location. This exercise also works well when you have team members who are from the same country, but participating from a different office. (It is not uncommon for offices/locations to have slightly different approaches). When I think of cultures I also include sub-cultures such as between different regions in the same country or different functional groups in the same company. (This link can provide context if you want to look at cultures more closely.)

The resource/ice breaker that I share lists several project-related scenarios which can be used to explore differences in approaches and mindsets within your project team. You may also choose to use the topic as an on-going exploration within your team where you could select one of the topics at each of your meetings instead of trying to cover all of them during a team-building event.

Early exploration of different mindsets and assumptions among team members can be a valuable foundation to ensure smoother relationships and better collaboration on your project.  Feel free to suggest additional important scenarios to consider for discussion after you have reviewed the attachment I shared in this post.

 

New Employee Survey Template


new survey

A New Employee survey is a great way to gather input in a structured way; answering the question : How successful is your on-boarding process from the perspective of the newly hired person?

You should of course use the template I am sharing mainly as a guideline. I am sure you can think of items you would like to add or change or remove. The objective of the survey is to capture data over time to see if the changes you are making to improve on-boarding is gradually increasing the scores and yielding more positive responses going forward. If you track more than one location you can also compare the results to understand if there are any location-based differences in new employee experiences and how you can ensure a consistently great on-boarding process across all locations.

New Employee Survey

Most of the time I see these kinds of surveys run on services like http://www.surveymonkey.com  If you find it too daunting to setup such a survey online, use a paper copy of the New Employee Survey. The important part is to gather the data you need to enable decision-making and identify improvement actions to take around your on-boarding process.

Tips:

  • Don’t make the survey very long or you will risk lower response rates, questions skipped or repeated answers.
  • Watch out for questions that seem similar which frustrates survey respondents.
  • Make sure you are asking questions which would generate answers that can be actioned. For example I advise against asking “Did you feel good on your 1st day at the office?” If the survey respondent answered “no” you would have limited ability to impact the responses from future new employees.
  • Do take the time at least once per quarter (or shorter time periods if you are hiring several people) to review, analyze and summarize the results obtained from the New Employee Surveys. That way you can be sure you are able to spot trends and identify specific focus areas for you and your HR/Learning and Development teams to address and improve upon going forward.

New Employee On-boarding Checklist Template


At the end of a successful recruitment process  you typically have an accepted job offer by a job candidate with the right skills, mindset and experience. That is when you should start the first activities related to successfully on-boarding the new hire into your company. You have to ensure that you stay in touch with the new hire until he or she arrives at your location on the first day of employment and you must make sure that the on-boarding program goes well from the perspective of the employee and the Hiring Manager. A successful on-boarding process ensures that a new employee is able to deliver top performance (creating value) as fast as possible.

People centered HR Processes MODEL

The first day often includes the completion of forms and introducing the new employee to his or her surroundings and colleagues. And these activities may continue for several more days where introductions may include representatives from suppliers, partners and customer organizations. The first few experiences of the new employee also typically includes the handover of equipment that is to be used to perform the duties and tasks assigned to the new hire. This could include a desktop or laptop, maybe a mobile phone and any other items that are important for the role he or she would fulfill. Coordinating all of these activities and documenting the on-boarding plan is often the responsibility of HR.

New Hire On-boarding Checklist Template

This template helps you to keep track of all of the information to be shared, documents to be signed or handed over and introductions that should take place for a specific new hire. On-boarding for sales people may be different than on-boarding for a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who may work in R&D. A new sales person may have more customer meetings included while the R&D person may need to be introduced to lab procedures etc. Customize the list as needed to ensure it is right for the new employee  you are bringing into your company or group.

I would say the signing off by the manager and new employee is optional – depends on your company culture and how you would prefer to run things at your office. The important part is THAT you have a structured process to bring someone new into the company and that this process is run in a consistent manner. That way you can be sure that each new employee has received all of the support needed to as quickly as possible understand the way things are done at your company and who to talk to about specific topics and ideas. This is a vital part of ensuring the newly hired employee gets to the top of their performance potential in the shortest possible time period and feel welcome – engaged – from day 1.