A well-written, up-to-date employee handbook is a must for any business when it comes to managing a company. This document outlines the expectations and rules for employees and can help prevent misunderstandings and provide a clear path for disciplinary action. It can help protect your company from employee lawsuits and help to keep your workforce informed of their rights and responsibilities.
Unfortunately, many businesses choose not to publish a handbook, thinking that it is not necessary or that it will be too costly. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of publishing an employee handbook and provide some tips on keeping costs down.
What Information Does an Employee Handbook Provide?
The employee handbook is an important document that sets out the expectations and responsibilities of employees at any company. It is essential reading for all new employees, and it is recommended to keep it handy so that employees can refer to it as needed.
It is the go-to guide for all things related to the job role and other employment-related information. Employees will find information on everything from company culture and values to policies and procedures. We courage you to give some authority to your employees so that they can familiarize themselves with what they can expect from your company as an employee.
Generally, an employee handbook covers a wide range of topics, including:
- Company’s history, mission, and values
- An overview of products and services that the company provide
- Expectations for employee conduct and performance
- Information on benefits and compensation programs
- Company’s policies on attendance, dress code, drug testing, and more
Why is it Important to Publish an Employee Handbook?
A well-written handbook can help new employees understand your company culture, values, and expectations. It can also be a valuable reference for experienced employees. Moreover, it can help you comply with laws and regulations. For example, if you have a policy on sexual harassment, your handbook can help you meet your legal obligations.
Here are the five most prominent reasons why publishing an employee handbook is essential:
1. Set Expectations and Boundaries
It can help set expectations for employees regarding their behavior and performance. It can also help establish clear boundaries as to what is acceptable behavior and what is not. This can help to avoid misunderstandings and conflict.
2. Communicate the Company’s Culture
An employee handbook can communicate the company’s culture, values, and ethos to employees. This can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Additionally, the handbook promotes positive work habits and discourages bad ones. For example, if you have a policy on attendance, you can use your guide to remind employees of the importance of coming to work on time.
3. Provide Guidance on Procedures and Policies
It can provide employees with guidance on the company’s procedures and policies. This can help ensure that everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities and knows how to proceed in different situations. It communicates your company’s policies and procedures clearly and consistently. This can reduce the risk of misunderstandings and disputes.
4. Protect the Company’s Interests
A handbook for the employees can help protect your company’s interests by setting out clear rules and procedures. This can help to reduce the risk of legal disputes and other problems.
5. Boost Morale and Motivation
It can boost morale and motivation by making employees feel valued and appreciated. It helps in building loyalty among your employees. A well-designed handbook can make your employees feel appreciated and valued and more likely to stick with your company. It can also help create a sense of belonging and community within the workplace.
Tips to Write a Compelling Employee Handbook
Keep It concise
The biggest mistake you can make when writing an employee handbook is to try and include too much information. This will make the document confusing and challenging to navigate, but it will also be off-putting for employees who want to find the information they need quickly and easily.
To avoid this, make sure that you only include the essential information while publishing the employee handbook. Keep the language concise and easy to understand and use headings and subheadings to break up the text and make it easier to scan.
Make It relatable
It should be written in a relatable and easy way for employees to understand. After all, if they can’t understand what you’re trying to say, it’s not going to be of much use to them.
To make it more relatable, try using examples and case studies throughout. This will help bring the information to life and make it easier for employees to see how it applies to their situation.
When writing your employee handbook, it’s essential to be clear in your language. This will help to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings further down the line.
Make sure that you use plain English throughout and avoid using any jargon or technical terms. If there are any terms that you need to use, explain them in full so that employees know exactly what they mean.
Keep It up to Date
It should be kept up to date with the latest information and developments. You’ll need to review and update it regularly, at least once a year.
Whenever you make any changes to your employee handbook, make sure to communicate these to employees to know what has been changed and why. This will help to ensure that everyone is always on the same page.
Finally, it’s essential to get feedback from employees about your employee handbook. Ask them what they think of the document and whether there is anything that they feel is unclear or could be improved.
You can also ask employees for suggestions about what should be included. This can be a great way to ensure that the document is tailored to your specific business and meets the needs of your employees.
Now that you know how important it is to have an employee handbook within your company. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to writing a compelling handbook that will be an invaluable resource for your business.
After publishing the handbook, you can use SimplyHRMS to add a softcopy of the book to make it easily accessible!