How to Create an Employee Handbook: The Ultimate Guide

After you are done with the tedious recruiting process, now it is time to welcome them. An employee handbook is like a welcome guide for new employees. It is not only a tool for their orientation but can also be a guide for future references.

Your handbook not only creates the tone for the company’s culture, goal, atmosphere, and ground rules, but it also demonstrates your purpose to communicate effectively. Your handbook should be coherent. Moreover, some components of the handbook, such as rewards, remuneration, benefits, and a safe workplace, are critical for employee retention.

First Things First!

The opening to any employee handbook can be a description of your business or a welcoming message. Still, it should not be an attempt to put the staff in their places. One of the first things to include in an employee handbook is the company overview. It is like showing a visiting card when you first meet someone. The handbook should contain detailed information about the company, its history, initial plans, and its operations in this section. You need to be clear about the company goals to strive to achieve them.

Mention the mission and vision you have for your company. If you resonate with your employees about the company, it will help build a trusting relationship. Your employees can connect with the workplace better once they understand the work itself.

Code of Conduct

Even though there are some universal ethics to maintain when it comes to workplaces, it is important to have a written code of conduct. Your code of conduct should contain everything a new employee can have questions about. Code of conduct includes pointers on the kind of dresses employees should wear, which behaviors will not be tolerated, which devices and gadgets are allowed, lunch breaks, guidelines for using a substance, and so on.

A code of conduct is a set of guidelines for the workplace. It would ease your freshly recruited employees’ nerves to have a clear set of guidelines on hand.

Benefits and Compensation

This is a popular portion, and we can guarantee that it is among the first pieces that the employee will read thoroughly. They want to understand not just when and how they will be reimbursed but also the performance assessment process. Also, they want to grasp the benefits and corporate incentives for which they are qualified.

PTO (Paid Time Off), insurance coverage, health insurance, annual bonuses, retirement plans, performance bonuses, etc., should at least be mentioned in the employee handbook. You do not have to go into details for all of these in the handbook, but make sure to include the basics. Your employee should know the benefits and perks they will enjoy once they get on board with your company.

Legal Clause

Employers must include legal policies in their employee handbooks. Employees should know that your company works in accordance with the law and that any kind of breaking of those laws will not be tolerated. Also, make sure to include the anti-discrimination clause as well.

NDA and Conflict Resolution

A company has people coming from different backgrounds. When there are differences in opinions and viewpoints, one should expect conflicts to arise. Instead of dreading such disputes, figure out effective ways to resolve them.

Whenever there is a conflict within the company, the chain of command comes to light. Employees want to know when to involve the supervisor and seek out anyone from top management. Establish conflict resolution policies for your employees to follow. Most of the disagreements would be resolved among the employees themselves. Only a handful of cases require top management to be involved. Also, make sure to include the consequences for disrespecting any conflict-resolution policies. Your employees should know the risks they would be taking.

Your employees must sign an NDA beforehand. So even if there are conflicts, your company is at no risk of internal information being leaked.

Workplace Safety

People want a sense of security in their household and place of work. Explain the measures you take to create a safe tangible and intangible work environment to minimize confusion and a potential lawsuit. Whether you mention regulations and protocols for operating machinery or the procedure for reporting sexual harassment or dealing with bullying charges, your employees should feel confident that they work in a safe setting. That feeling of safety can boost an employee’s morale.

Why You Need an Employee Handbook

Many companies decide to create an employee handbook because they believe it might effectively reduce disputes among employees. The precise moment varies depending on the company. Still, suppose you believe your small business has grown so that disagreements are likely to arise. In that case, it’s generally a good idea to create a handbook. That’s one of the many reasons to get an employee handbook no matter which sector your company operates in.

The most important reason for every organization to have an employee handbook is establishing benefit programs and personnel standards. It helps eliminate confusion and offers your team a plan to follow if there is ever a dispute or rebuttal that requires top management to intervene. It also provides balanced job prospects.

Also, a detailed employee handbook protects your organization legally if anybody ever disputes whether you’ve effectively explained the company policies or not.

Final Thoughts

After completing the primary elements of your handbook, include a brief summary of the book’s objective, a key contact for any inquiries, a warning that regulations might change, and an acknowledgment signature line. Make it a point to express how pleased you are to have the employees on board.

The employee handbook is not a legal document. A guidebook should properly define your policies without getting carried away with information. It doesn’t have to be too lengthy or too complex.