Helping New Employees Get Started 

Recruitment of a new employee continues as the new staff member engages in the first weeks of employment. To help new staff feel welcome and valued:


  • Make sure they have directions and information about parking or transportation
  • Provide information about meals before the first day; ex: should they bring lunch
  • Greet them as they enter on the first day of work.
  • Show them workspaces and facilities, and the location of resources and supplies. 
  • Issue keys, ID and other needed equipment.
  • Use a staff meeting, retreat or other gathering to celebrate their presence on the team.

Connect and Engage

  • Introduce them to coworkers and each person’s primary responsibilities.
  • Have email and technology ready to use. 
  • Review the job description and discuss how they will be spending the first days at work.
  • Have an organization chart and staff handbook ready for review.
  • Have a schedule for upcoming meetings and training available.
  • Ensure they have opportunities to get to know key staff and lay leaders with whom they will be working.


Managing Personnel Records

All congregations should keep confidential personnel files for all clergy and lay employees. Keeping complete, and secure personnel records is essential. Please note that these may be required to be shared during legal proceedings. Personnel files should include:

  • Materials from the original application (resumé, cover letter, application)
  • Verifications of employment
  • Job description
  • Offer letters
  • Retirement, Group Life and Disability Benefits Enrollment forms
  • Tax forms (W-4, MW-507 for residents of Maryland and D-4 for employees living in DC)
  • Record of compensation changes
  • Direct deposit requests
  • Annual Housing Allowance designations
  • Contact information
  • Performance reviews
  • Disciplinary documentation

Create a separate file for medical information (e.g., Health Benefit applications, medical history, application for disability leave, return-to-work releases from health providers).

Create a separate binder for Form I-9 for each employee (do not put this federally required form into personnel files).