I’m Raechel and I run the People Team at Coda. Prior to Coda I helped scale Box from 200 to 1500 people. In my current role, I am focused on and passionate about helping Codans grow, succeed, and thrive, emphasizing a culture of transparency, collaboration, and well-being. I’ve made my career out of finding the right people and guiding them to success, with over a decade of experience in recruiting and people operations.
After interviewing countless People teams, I’ve realized that most of them want to spend their time building trust, enabling, and coaching. Instead, they get bogged down in cumbersome manual processes, status updates, etc. The best teams have found ways to set up systems that unlock their People team from inefficient workstreams and let them focus on strategic initiatives that move the business forward, improve communication, decision-making, inclusion, and engagement.
My team and I have collected some of these best practices to share in this guide— allowing you to consolidate 10s of tools into one core tool that’s flexible and easy to use, Coda. Coda will give your team the time back to focus on what matters— empowering your people.
What you’ll find in this handbook.
You’ll find templates to run all the parts of your employee lifecycle— from onboarding and off-boarding, to team management, to performance and engagement, all with a lens for diversity, inclusion, and equity. This is just the start of what you can do in Coda. If you can imagine it, you likely can build it in Coda. Just ask Coda AI ✨ or visit our
People Team Hub: Align the People team and consolidate docs, spreadsheets, presentations, and other tools into a single source of truth.
Problem: Teams lack an organized and central space to move as one team.
Most teams have hundreds of docs, presentations, and spreadsheets tracking the information they need to operate day-to-day. The overhead of switching between platforms is costly. How can any one team member know where everything is? Most teams nowadays are distributed and have lost moments of connection that bond them as a team. Work has evolved and teams and companies need to evolve with it to make sure they stay aligned as one team.
Solution: Share common ground in a dedicated hub so you’re always in the know.
Consolidate tools in one designated place for your team to gather. Compile all information important to running your team — from policies and processes, to team meeting notes, to proposals or writeups, to team event information in a single, easily accessible place. Anything that used to be spread across docs, spreadsheets, presentations, and other tools, is now in the Team Hub.
Teams can also bond on what is exciting for them outside of work, share stories, stay aligned on project status, vote on what’s most important to the team, and more... all working towards keeping the team feeling connected and moving fast in the same direction. And the best thing is that you can customize it to your team and how you all work. Let your team’s cultures and values shine in your hub.
Recruitment & Headcount: Unblock your team so they can focus on growth.
Problem: Logistics and lack of communication are leading teams to play a bad game of telephone for headcount approval.
Have you had wires crossed about the seniority and priority of a role? Or wonder what the status is on the approval process of a role? When you lack one central location that serves as your source of truth, you’re occupied with chasing down a status (or figuring out who you should be chasing), when it comes to headcount approval and planning.
Solution: A customized way to collaborate on headcount requests, streamline approvals, and increase visibility so your team can focus on recruiting.
Key stakeholders who are making these important decisions do not need to have avoidable wedges between them. You’re on the same team and one unified system can give you the basics and enable deeper discussions to unpack why decisions were made. This applies at every step — your tools will focus on communicating the status so you as teammates can focus on how to move forward.
Onboarding: Automate onboarding, ease handoffs with other teams, and create an overall delightful experience for your new hire.
Problem: Onboarding is an essential process with a lot of moving pieces, and any hiccups degrade a new team member’s experience.
Onboarding can be overwhelming for both the new hire and for the team running the process. There are so many moving pieces, numerous stakeholders involved, lots of manual processes, and the emotional stakes are very high. Yet, this is a process every People team runs—over and over again. Teams invest in tools that don’t talk to one another and may cause more chaos and confusion to the mix, making this process more convoluted than it has to be. Read on to see how the People Team can be a guiding light in this transitional period.
Solution: Many pieces run smoothly together when you have Coda, so you can focus on being the welcoming committee.
This process can be more straight-forward with increased documentation and efficiencies to streamline and scale these processes in a way that fits your team. With Coda, you can automate these processes, add personalization, keep documentation fresh and accessible, keep the entire team updated and engaged, and ultimately set up these systems to both scale and delight everyone involved. Think easy to use interactive checklists, dynamic text that changes with any new information input, emails and Slack messages going out without leaving your doc, and notifications coming through to keep you informed and taking care of sensitive tasks. Have you imagined it? Good. Now let us show you how Coda will get you there.
Training & Development: Create an engaging, shared learning experience across distributed teams, in asynchronous environments.
Problem: Teams have limited time and resources to dedicate to learning, and available tools don’t fit their needs.
We know that employees need to develop their skills to increase their impact and stay engaged. Yet, we all struggle to make time for it. At the same time, boring modules and a lack of customization in training content keeps up the perception that employee development is a lower priority than it actually is. The tools out there are either out-dated or over-engineered. Training and L&D teams are strapped and need simple, customizable solutions to make learning stick.
Solution: Coda makes it easy to create digestible, customizable, interactive & ongoing learning content that can inclusively straddle synchronous and async learning environments.
With the simplicity of a doc and the power of an app, Coda makes it easy to make training and development content that fits the needs of the team. Learning teams can leverage the same tools they use for two-way write-ups and decision making to make live or asynchronous learning experiences that pop.
Career & Succession Planning: Set intentions and plan ahead to accelerate your employees’ careers
Problem: Career conversations fall to the wayside, while succession planning is reactive and not well-informed.
When the company is moving quickly and employees are in execution mode, it can be easy for everyone’s focus to be solely on getting things done. Regular 1:1s turn into status updates and finding ways to get unblocked. It’s understandable, but unfortunate that too often employee’s individual growth and career goals get ignored. While everyone is likely growing in a fast-paced environment, it’s still super important for engagement, retention, and future succession planning to set aside time and have meaningful career and growth conversations. We all know this, though, so how do we actually hold ourselves and our managers accountable to having these important conversations? And how do we make sure that we have all the necessary information to have proactive succession planning conversations that are also collaborative?
Solution: Enable managers to have the tools to run more meaningful 1:1s and career conversations, and customize tools for collaborative, proactive succession planning.
Managers have no time, so giving them the tools they need to be effective is imperative. We’ve found that templates for 1:1s and career conversations help enable the right actions to take place. This will be a helpful forcing function to make sure these conversations are happening and to hopefully reduce blowback for the People team. These conversations can then help inform overall talent reviews and succession planning, which both should be dynamic, collaborative, and customized in Coda— not static in slides.
Rewards & Recognition: Motivating your employees is valuable, and additional tooling can be costly — let Coda take care of it.
Problem: Recognition tooling is expensive and is ineffective without the people participation.
Recognition tooling is expensive. And though they can provide structure and fun ways to give out kudos, your employees are still the ones that are delivering the content and making critical decisions. It takes time and effort to teach your employees how to use single-use, purchased tooling and though it may make a splash in the beginning, it can quickly lose steam. And then you are back to the beginning, needing to buy another tool that does the same thing but with a subtle twist all over again and needing to train your employees to use it and generate content. Rinse. Repeat. Over and over. Surely there’s a better way to recognize your employees, raise morale, and give your people team an easy path to create content that makes sense for your company.
Solution: Save on your rewards by running programs and reminders in Coda — and keep more budget for your employees.
You’re already using Coda for other aspects of work (if you aren’t, you should!). Let’s hear it for another example for tool consolidation! You can build a system that recognizes your employees in a way that feels true to you and how you work. At Coda, we have two beloved rituals that we’ve built on Coda — no outsourced vendors needed! We have a work anniversary template that easily collects manager insights and writes a celebratory post using AI to make employees feel seen and heard. Can’t wait a year? We also have a recognition program that collects nominations and a place to judge and collect final results.
Workplace Management: Help your employees help you and gain back precious time.
Problem: Workplace managers, similar to the rest of the People Team, are always being pulled in so many directions with questions coming from all angles.
What’s the policy on X? Can you please order X for the office snacks? Slack, email, in person stopping by your desk. This is a lot for one person to constantly be bombarded. Every question can easily distract you from the major project you’ve undertaken for the office move or the big company event you’re organizing.
Solution: Reduce (multiple streams of requests), reuse (existing self-serve material), recycle (or... reorder the snacks your employees crave).
Yes, consistent requests are to be expected and those in workplace want to be accessible to employees. But, imagine a world where some of that can be reduced through self-serve resources like an internal Wiki, a central ticketing system (yes, just one!) and a snack process founded on organization and order. With Coda, you can be proactive in sharing your policy, train employees to request items and house existing inventory to power more seamless reordering. And like that, you’ve gained time.
Offboarding: Delivering excellence until the very end.
Problem: Lack of communication and organization of time sensitive tasks makes it a struggle to tie up loose ends and conduct effective exit interviews.
An employee leaving is a transition that is best to be prepared for. The priority should be on maintaining the relationship until the end, but crossing wires about dates and details can have your People team running around unsure what is happening. Let’s not forget, offboarding is also about compliance and risk management. And then there are exit interviews. They’ve become more of a formality and less of a point of engagement. What’s the point of them if the insights collected just sit in a doc?
Solution: Get your ducks in a row so you can focus on wrapping up the employee’s journey, making sure they get what they need and you have a chance to learn from them.
Be informed as soon as you need to be looped in. Instead of your HRBP sending a Slack message, a form helps you get all the information you need. No more back and forth about missing information. With integrated notifications, your team can prioritize and take care of the most important tasks right away. And, similar to onboarding, checklists keep you accountable and moving forward with all of the essential tasks. Now your team can focus on the exit interview with a template that helps prepare the questions in an easy to read format, summarize the insights and push it out the right people to make a difference.