Why not take it upon yourself to come up with a team handbook that you can provide to all new members of your team, that welcomes them and sets the tone for the culture you are trying to build.
Here are some tips to help you get going:
Vision and Goals
A team handbook is a great place to introduce your medium and long term goals for the team. This immediately sets you apart as a leader with vision and not just a micro-manager.
A team handbook is a great opportunity to delegate some work to your current team members, and to get team members that don't often work together to join forces. Ask your team members what information would really have been useful when they joined:
- Where is the best place to buy lunch?
- What sports and social activities take place?
- Who is the best person to speak to in IT support?
Ask each of your current team to contribute a profile with a photo, some key successes and their interests out-side of work. Quickly uncovering a new team member supports the same football team, or has the same hobbies is a great ice breaker.
Add personality to your own profile
Don't take yourself too seriously - introduce a bit of your home life into your profile. Yes you are the team's manager and leader, but you are also human too. Detailing some of your own hobbies and passions gives you the opportunity to find some common ground with your team members.
Your company may well have an agreed set of values, in which case you can build on these in your team handbook. If not, perhaps agree some at your next team meeting?
- Do you embrace change?
- Do you work hard, play hard?
- Do you support everyone in the team?
- Do you accept failure?
Spending some time detailing the values that your team holds will make it easier for new team members to adopt them.
When your team stop bringing you problems you stop leading them. A team handbook is a great way to confirm that you welcome all feedback and to detail the channels that your team members can use - whether it is email, 1-2-1's, a suggestion box or team meetings.
Keep it updated
Perhaps each quarter allocate a couple of team members to 'own' the team handbook and to keep it updated. As new members join the team they can have an up to date version printed off. Keep asking new team members what they found useful in the handbook and what else they would like to see in it.
We hope this idea is of use! Have you used a team handbook in addition to your company handbook? What other articles would be of use to new starters?