What is a Handbook for Employees?
An employee handbook should be provided to everyone who works for your organization. The policies, perks, and overarching business objectives are all covered in this paper, along with other details about working for your company. The purpose of an employee handbook is to ensure that no one working for you misunderstands the most crucial corporate policies and has access to reliable, current, accurate, and legal information.
Why Is a Handbook for Employees Important?
All new hires will have inquiries especially when they come from an applicant tracking system. While orientation offers them a chance to ask them, it's crucial to have a reference guide that contains the most crucial policies as well as outlines the objectives and services of the organization. By setting clear expectations at the beginning of each employee's tenure, you can save your HR department time.
The manual can also avoid future misunderstandings and legal issues. Gathering all benefit information in one location also provides a chance to promote the benefits that your business offers. Additionally, it gives managers a reliable source of knowledge to whom they can turn whenever staff members have inquiries.
When to Use an Employee Handbook
Every business with employees ought to have an employee handbook. It's time to create one or perhaps update your current version if you respond "yes" to any of the following questions:
- Are we going to start hiring soon?
- Will our business expand to the point where we need to hire new employees?
- Are we establishing brand-new departments or practices, or are we offering important new benefits?
- Is our present manual still relevant?
- Are we concerned about defending ourselves in court?
- Do our managers routinely approach HR with the same queries that a standardized set of informational guidelines could address?
How to Draft a Handbook for Employees
Writing your handbook in the same terminology as your employee-facing websites and materials is a good way to ensure consistency. The handbook should be informative and interesting, and it should be clear what the company's position is on the most crucial matters. Employees should understand the expectations of the job relationship from both the employer and the employee after reading the handbook.
How to Write an Employee Handbook Introduction
A clear declaration of the handbook's overarching objective should be included at the beginning. Goals for your business and statements from executives or the owner may be included. Put the handbook's purpose in the perspective of these bigger ideas. For maximum result, take into account the following suggestions:
- Consult with the human resources departments, employees that embody the values of your business, and leaders.
- Write concisely and keep your paragraphs to no more than one page.
- To ensure that your audience understands what you are saying, test the content among your staff.
- Don't use jargon. Clichés and buzzwords used in business don't have the same impact as precise, defined terminology.
- One of the most important aspects of creating a fantastic employee handbook is to develop an introduction that sets the tone for the entire document.
What Should Be in an Employee Manual
Make the manual fascinating in addition to being precise and thorough if you want your employees to read and comprehend the entire thing. Use a casual yet professional tone and address the letter directly to the employee. Additionally, whenever possible, give justification for the policies in order to gain the support of the workforce and increase the likelihood that they will read the full document.
Include the following sections in your employee handbook, at the very least:
- A quick statement of background
- Opportunities for learning and growth and how employees can make use of them
- Details regarding non-cash benefits and compensation for employees, such as sick leave and paid time off (PTO) policies, will be provided.
- Information about how to quit, what grounds there are for termination, and what to expect when employees leave the organization.
- The hiring process for your company's policy on equal employment opportunities.
- The performance evaluation process at your organization.
How Would I Modify the Employee Handbook?
It stands to reason that your handbook will evolve since businesses and policies change frequently. If only one page or one policy needs to be changed, you can add a reminder to your present handbook. But it's better to produce an updated version of your guidebook if a sizable portion of it is already out of date.
Make sure to put a disclaimer in your employee handbook to inform staff members that it is their duty to be aware of changes and to keep memos close at hand. Include information on how people can ask questions regarding new modifications to corporate policies.
Major changes can also be announced by email, company memos, and posters posted in common areas where employees congregate, including the break room or conference rooms, in addition to revising the employee handbook. Consider moving to an online-only, digital version that employees may access at any time from the company intranet or an employee portal if printing a fresh one isn't necessary.