The employee handbook, also referred to as the staff handbook or employee manual is a document containing a set of procedures, behavioral expectations, policies and working conditions that employees should observe when in a specific workplace. Likewise, it explains what employees should expect from their employers.
What to include in the Employee handbook?
Introduction to the company and its values
This section includes the history of the company, its founders, as well as its objectives. It also consists of a precise company mission statement as well as additional insight into the company’s culture. Moreover, it states what to prioritize while in the workplace, continues education and autonomy. Therefore, the primary role of this section is to provide an understanding of the company matters and reasons to be glad to be part of the team.
Code of conduct
Here, you provide your employees with a more in-depth overview of details regarding compliance and ethics. Thanks to a code of conduct, you will be able to clearly explain the company’s values as well as the expected behavior with your fellow employees and leaders. With these rules, you will be able in a position to relatively regulate as well as gauge a person’s behavior.
Other things you can include in the code of conduct are;
- Substance-free workplace policy
- Anti-discriminatory policy
- Disciplinary action
- Dress code policy
- Anti-harassment policy
In this section, the employee handbook states when, where, and how your employees should carry out their activities. Some of the topics to cover include;
- Work hours
- Ways of keeping the workplace safe
- Work-from-home policy
- Use of the company equipment
- Break and lunch periods
Benefits and compensation policy
In this section, you should state essential information such as salary, increase in compensation for particular job descriptions as well as payroll deductions. The payroll deductions include local and federal taxes as well as other voluntary deductions for personal benefits. Moreover, the payment schedule for each employee, either bi-monthly or monthly, should be included.
This section explains what your employees their benefits about stocks, vision, dental, health care, life insurance, among numerous other issues. You should also include the benefits, including commuter benefits, 401(k) plans, employee referral bonuses, parking, and tuition reimbursement.
The employee handbook should clearly explain each of your employee’s unpaid and paid vacation time. Furthermore, it should state the duration they get for sick time, paid family leave as well as medical leave. There are some policies, for example, family medical leave, which are put in place by state officials. Therefore, you need to follow the set standards as the rest of the businesses in your region.
Confidentiality policy and non-disclosure agreement
Your employee handbook should contain a confidentially clause to make sure your employees do not misuse your client’s private information or your company’s internal operations. There are specific details which your company is required to protect. Therefore, you should come up with a list and make sure all your employees are well aware of this to know the information they must never share. Some of these details include information about your client, the firm’s internal business plan as well a financial account details on your employees.
New hire and separation policy
Here, you should inform your new employees if they should wait to get their benefits as well as the duration this will take. Also, this should include details about the progressive discipline policy and the steps that should be taken if the employee wishes to quit. Stating the discipline steps enables you to establish prohibited behavior and ensures you remain fair. Furthermore, you should indicate how long an employee needs to wait for their benefits in the event they get terminated.
Difference Between the Company policy and employee handbook
Company policy is a comprehensive manual that explains each aspect of how the company operates. Whereas you might give employees this policy when they join your company, supervisors and managers are the ones who typically use it to get clarification on a matter that needs to be well understood. Some of the information in the company policy includes safety measures and disciplinary issues.
The employee handbook, on the other hand, is written mostly to address the employees. Additionally, it takes a simpler approach, hence a lot easier for employees to refer to it when looking for clarification. With an employee handbook, you get to reduce the amount of confusion within your company in all your undertakings.
Employee Handbook Examples
Employee Handbook Example 01
Employee Handbook Example 02
Employee Handbook Example 03
Tips for Employee Handbook
Make it easy to understand
You should make your employee handbook easy to read and comprehend. Thus, you should make use of short sentences and paragraphs. Additionally, whereas you might need to include some legal terms, try and simplify it as much as possible and encourage your employees to come to you any time they have a question.
Make your employee handbook simple to navigate
Before writing the employee handbook manual, write a clear outline that elaborates everything that is included. After writing the outline, you should also include a table of contents, bullet points as well as subheadings to assist your staff in tracing whatever they want quickly. Because your staff will be using this as a guide to find answers, you need to simplify it, hence making finding appropriate answers simple and straightforward.
Use an appropriate tone
The employee handbook should be written in a tone that best portrays the image of an employer. For example, if the culture of your company is fun, then try and include a little playfulness to make the handbook better suit the company’s voice.
Get legal advice
After you are done writing your employee handbook, hire a legal expert to ensure everything from your wording is in line with the law to avoid any issues in the future. This is especially important on topics that address legal issues. With the help of an attorney, you are sure that all the state and federal laws have been followed.
Include payment information
Company staff work because they expect to receive payment for services rendered. Therefore, you should use your employee handbook to answer a few questions regarding the payment of your employees. For instance, clarify after how long they will be paid, that is, monthly, semi-monthly, or weekly as well as the day of payment. Additionally, you can state factors that might affect payments such as observed holidays, time off policies, business hours, and other benefits you provide.
Having read through this article, you now have an idea of what an employee handbook is. You also now know its importance if you run a company, hence ensuring it is always written appropriately. Furthermore, you know the difference between an employee handbook and a company policy, thereby ensuring you do not get mixed up in the future. Lastly, you have learned about the essential tips you need to observe when writing an employee handbook to make sure all requirements have been followed. Therefore, you can now safely write one for your business and have no concerns about any legal issues that may arise.