Updated: May 6
When first starting a business you may only have a few employees, but as time goes on and you grow, you should consider adding an employee handbook.
An employee handbook will help to get everyone on the same page. It is the roadmap you provide your workers so that they can know where to turn at any stage of their employment.
A well-written handbook will:
Ensure your policies and procedures are well-known and understood amongst your staff and executives. Nothing is left to interpretation or imagination.
A good handbook will also inform your employees of what you expect of them and what they can expect from management.
Another key aspect is that it helps establish the culture of your company. This is a big one. Are you a suit-and-tie type of business or are blue jeans permitted? Are workers required to punch in-and-out or is the schedule flexible? There is a whole host of these scenarios that we’ll want to address.
Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, benefits! What are the benefits your company offers? Paid and unpaid time off, sick leave, health insurance and 401k. These are perks you want to have clearly established and well-known.
One other thing that an employee handbook helps with is compliance with state and federal law. Having certain policies in place will assist in protecting your business from disgruntled employees or other types of legal actions.
I could go on-and-on about the benefits of having an employee handbook. When creating the handbook there is one thing you’ll want to have in place: that it’s understandable, and specific to your business. Basically, this guidebook needs to be written in a way anyone can understand it, and so it’s relevant to your operations. I can’t tell you how many employee handbooks I’ve read that don’t clearly define terms, use too many complexes and are for the most part not understood by management let alone the employees. What good is an employee handbook if only a few can even comprehend it?