Work Better with Google Workspace

How to set up Google Workspace for your first employees

Learn the best steps to take before adding new employees to your small business Google Workspace plan in this easy to follow article.

Congratulations on expanding your small business and hiring your very first employees! What a great achievement! 

But before those new employees can use Google Workspace in your organisation, you need to give them their own user account. An account gives each user:

  • A name and password for signing in to Google Workspace services
  • An email address at any of your domains (if you’re using Gmail) and
  • A profile or contact name, which you can easily change later

It’s really easy to add new users – you only need their first and last names, but if you want to make the most of your Google Workspace investment, then there’s a few steps you should take.

It is best to do these steps in order by the way, as they all build on each other and they should all be done before you on-board that very first employee (well, the first employee apart from yourself of course!)

So in this article we’ll cover the following steps which will help you set up Google Workspace in the best possible way for your first employee(s):

Step 1: Customising your organisation’s profile

Add your organisation’s logo

If you haven’t already done so, add your organisation’s logo to your Google Workspace installation.

The logo shows up at the top of each user’s window for applications such as Gmail, Calendar, and Drive. It’s a good way for users to identify that they’re actually using the company’s Google Workspace applications.

The default logo looks like this:

CoeNxFY8aiQgoGlTJFdQeBpgf1FW6IPnikdjxe5rz1rWSR3rydb1BOSeM8Ovpu2qEms6smIuoL2ymd GvAcP3PhQMABYk8ukEfdZGE1dolzejzJL0gFstxUCA9fK1mQ4uL6 4vVJz5Yiyu3i7P69gcZkVd7XUcG3nLEsYcnUwPhXEVFHCKVMkBQpgVIMCg

(where the letter is the first initial of the user’s first name).

Adding a custom logo gives you the opportunity to brand your Google Workspace installation and makes it a bit more personal to you and your employees. It must be in either PNG or GIF format (but it won’t be animated if it is a GIF) and must be 320 x 132 pixels and no more than 30 KB.

You can upload a custom logo via Admin Console > Account > Account settings > Personalisation. It may take up to 24 hours for the custom logo to be shown.

Enable contact sharing

If you’ve set up your Google Workspace installation with just the one user (you), then you’ll now need to enable contact sharing under Directory services.

When this option is enabled:

  • Users can find profile information in Google Contacts and other Google services.
  • Individual and group addresses autocomplete as your users enter them.
  • When users point to or tap someone’s profile image, a card opens with that person’s profile information.

You turn on contact sharing via Admin Console > Directory > Directory settings > Sharing settings > Contact sharing.

Create a support message

This message usually identifies who users should contact if they’re having issues logging in; or contains instructions on what to do if they’ve forgotten their password. Users will also see this support message at the Google Workspace Dashboard.

This feature doesn’t support HTML formatting but you can create lines by pressing ‘Enter’ and all URLs are automatically converted to a link.

You can create a support message via Admin Console > Account > Account settings > Profile.

Step 2: Customising preferences

Let your users get educational emails (optional)

If you signed up for Google Workspace after 1 November 2020 then you can give users the option to receive education emails about Google Workspace best practices, tips and feature updates.

Emails are sent out approximately twice a week when users first get access to Google Workspace, and then drop off to once a week, every other week, or less. Users can also opt out by clicking the unsubscribe link included in the email.

You can update these options via Admin Console > Account > Account settings > Preferences.

Turn on Smart features and personalisation

This option is set by default to allow users to make a decision on whether to allow Smart features and personalisation. The problem with leaving this as the default, is that if a new employee doesn’t turn on this feature then they may experience a less than optimal experience with Gmail, Chat and/or Meet without knowing why.

For example, when smart features and personalisation is turned on, users can:

  • Set up automatic email filtering into different inbox tabs, like Social or Promotions
  • Use Smart Compose and Smart Reply
  • See Summary cards above an email (for example, for package tracking or for travel itineraries)
  • Use an email’s event details to create a calendar entry

To set Smart Features and personalisation as a default for your new employees go to Admin Console > Account > Account settings > Smart features and personalisation.

Step 3: Reviewing password policy settings

By default, Google enforces strong passwords, and passwords must be at least 8 characters long. However, the other default settings are less than optimal once you start adding more than 1 user.

So, from Admin Console > Security Card > Authentication > Password Management change the password policy options to:

  • Enforce the password policy at next sign-in.
  • Set a time range after which users are required to reset their passwords.

Step 4: Enabling 2-Step Verification

Two step verification (2SV) is one of the most effective ways of putting an extra barrier between you and a cybercriminal looking to steal usernames and passwords to gain access to your Google workspace installation.

It is also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and basically relies on the user having access to something they know like a passphrase and something they have like a security key.

By default Google Workspace allows users to choose whether they use 2SV or not, but given how important it is, you should really make it mandatory. 

You set up 2SV via Admin Console > Security > Authentication > 2-Step Verification.  

Step 5: Setting up record keeping

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 there’s a number of employee records you must keep. These include:

  • Timeslips showing dates and hours your employees have worked for you, and how much they’re paid
  • Their employment start and end date or their contract end date
  • the award, workplace agreement or contract that covers their employment
  • start and finish times of overtime hours worked (if they’re entitled to overtime penalty rates or loadings)
  • relevant leave accruals such as annual leave and personal leave
  • superannuation fund and contribution details
  • trade certificates and qualifications (such as Responsible Service of Alcohol, Working with Children Check or other qualifications necessary to fulfil the role) and
  • right to work in Australia documents (such as Visa/VEVO checks).

So, as part of preparing Google Workspace for your new employees, set up dedicated Google Drive folders named for each employee that can hold all this information.

Step 6: Adding users 

Finally! It’s time to actually add your new employees as users in your Google Workspace installation. 

Technically, the only piece of information you need to create a new user account is their first and last name, but it is also handy to get a personal or secondary email address from them so you can send their new login details to this second address. 

Alternatively, you can copy the login details (user name and automatically generated password) when you create the new account, and paste that into a separate document that can be handed to them in physical format.

New users are added via Admin console > Directory > Users

And that’s it!

Want more personalised help?

I hope this article was of assistance to you, but if you want more personalised help then why not get in touch?

I specialise in helping small business owners just like you work better with Google Workspace so you can save time and money by streamlining your business processes; increasing your productivity; and improving client and employee comunications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *