I’m sure you have seen the ads claiming that you can create an Employee Handbook in minutes. It seems too good to be true, right? Well…it probably is, or rather, it should be. The employee handbook is one of the most important employment documents and it should take some time to develop. It is used to communicate your company culture, core values, performance expectations, rules, policies and procedures. Developing a good employee handbook is a priority for most companies because it acts as the operating playbook. Great handbooks are documents that empower your employees while reinforcing your company culture and values. Should any problems arise, the employee handbook provides clarity and context so employees know precisely what to do and where to turn. Here are some suggestions for developing a stellar employee handbook.
Company Origin and Values
Be clear about what your company stands for. It can empower your employees to be your best advocates. You may want to include:
- A welcome letter from the founder or owner
- The company origin story and operational timeline
- Describe your company culture and values
- List any company-sponsored events such as sanctioned volunteer efforts or community involvement activities
Include Information Important to Employees
Outlining important employee information can reduce the amount of time you and your management team spend on answering questions. Here are some topics you may want to include:
- Frequency of payment and time of payment
- Payment options
- Overtime policy
- Transparent alternative compensation such as bonuses or merit increases
- Benefits package
- Work hours
- Time off policies
- Education and training benefits
- Perks such as company phones, laptops, flexible schedules, working from home, etc.
Describe Employment Expectations
This should be customized to reflect your industry and company culture. Consider including topics such as:
- Appropriate appearance or business-specific dress code
- Use of personal phone, email, and internet during working hours
- Meal breaks and rest periods
- Safeguarding confidential information
- Performance standards
Additionally, your handbook should clearly inform employees that your company supports federal, state and local employment laws and that their responsibilities and compliance are a part of all roles. This can be confusing because these laws vary depending on your company size and location.
Developing a customized company handbook that truly reflects your company’s culture in an easy to read format will give you and your employees a roadmap for success. For more information on what to consider when creating or updating your employee handbook check out our other blog post entitled Employee Handbook: When to Update and What to Include.
Premier HR Solutions can develop your employee handbook or bring your existing handbook up to date to meet your company’s unique needs and objectives. Schedule a free consultation with one of our HR Advisors today!