How to Create Employees HandBook
Regarding corporate policies, are you and your staff on the same page? Can you make it simple for your staff to acquire information regarding perks or performance reviews, for example?
Do you have written policies in place to guarantee that your staff is aware of their rights and duties at work and to defend you from employee lawsuits?
All of these questions can be answered “yes” if you have an employee handbook.
What is an Employee Handbook?
A compendium of your company’s policies, practices, working conditions, and behavioral standards is called an employee handbook. Statements of corporate policy intended to direct the firm should be included.
Be aware that employees handbook and a procedures manual are not the same thing. Instead, it’s a chance to make policies and expectations clear to management as well as staff.
A strong, more supportive organizational culture, one in which policies are precisely laid out and regularly, uniformly enforced, can be fostered by a well-written handbook. Although particular rules or processes for certain departments may also exist, the main goal of an employee book is to provide a solid basis for the company as a whole.
It is not necessary to use bound, hard copy manuals. If management and staff can easily access it, a handbook could be an electronic file that is exchanged electronically and stored online. It’s critical to obtain written confirmation that each employee has read the handbook and accepts responsibility for adhering to the established policies.
Purpose of Employees HandBook
7 functions of a handbook for employees
Now that we are clear on what an employee handbook is and who needs one, let’s examine its functions in more detail.
1. Your goal, vision, and values in detail
A handbook aids in communicating your organization’s culture, which stems from your mission and values. In reality, these three principles should form the foundation of everything a corporation does. These are, after all, the fundamental objectives and standards of your company.
Employers who are committed to and understand your vision are ideal. You want them to uphold your principles and aid your business in realizing your vision.
Therefore, your employee handbook should be created such that everyone on staff can immediately comprehend and relate to your goal, vision, and values.
2. Explains company goals and policies
Setting clear expectations helps people understand how to be successful in their careers. The success of the company may also be attributed to this clarity.
A handbook that is specific to your business should list company rules and describe how employees are expected to conduct themselves. It reflects your business practices and offers guidelines for workplace conduct and how to handle employees.
A handbook informs employees of what is expected of them and spells out what will happen if they fall short of those standards, whether it be regarding how to obtain time off from work, how to dress appropriately, or the significance of abstaining from drug and alcohol usage.
3. Makes sure that the company’s rules are consistently followed
An employee handbook not only outlines employee expectations, but it also establishes a framework for management and leadership.
Outlining what workers can anticipate from management can help to ensure that everyone in the organization is on the same page. Without a handbook, each department manager may act in accordance with their own judgment rather than adhering to uniformly stated company-wide expectations.
In other words, a handbook maintains uniformity from one management to the next, ensuring that staff members from all divisions are treated fairly and that rules are upheld as intended.
4. Establishes standards for behavior and performance among employees
Employees who have access to an up-to-date, thorough handbook are always aware of what is expected of them and how they can contribute to the company. They are aware of the rules and regulations in the job. They are aware of how management would handle issues and grievances.
The handbook ensures that everyone is aware of what is crucial and establishes a shared knowledge base with the rest of the team. The transparency surrounding these issues may boost employee trust in the company and make their efforts appear valuable. The potential for increased motivation and engagement exists here.
5. The subject of employee expectations
Employees join a work relationship with expectations, just as businesses hire new employees in the hopes that they will deliver. They anticipate, at the very least, clear communication and treatment that complies with the law.
Employees handbook display you are devoted to fostering a healthy work environment and that you understand your employees’ requirements by clearly establishing corporate standards and setting a professional tone for the workplace.
6. Reduces dangers
The first step in defending a business from unemployment or other legal challenges can be as simple as outlining workplace policies and procedures clearly.
Inconsistent treatment or a lack of knowledge of corporate policies and processes is a common foundation for employment-related litigation and claims.
Without a handbook in place, a company may be exposed to greater liability concerns. Lawsuits, harassment claims, wrongful termination claims, and discrimination claims are a few examples of these. A handbook aids in ensuring that your company complies with all relevant local, state, and federal legislation.
7. Aids in reducing conflict
Conflicts may occur if policies and procedures are not consistently followed and clearly expressed.
Teamwork and productivity may suffer from perceived unfairness or claims of discrimination as a result of unclear policies or inconsistent execution of policies and procedures. Employees might feel mistreated or undervalued, which would ruin the work environment.
To ensure that everyone is treated with respect in a non-harassing, non-discriminatory manner, clear policies and equitable execution are necessary.
How to Create Employees HandBook
The next stage is to decide how to create employees handbook and what you should include now that you understand why you need one.
You should follow these nine steps, according to the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM), if you want to create your own employee handbook. However, don’t write your manual in a vacuum. Always consult your legal counsel and, if your company has one, your human resources department (if you have one). Your employee handbook is an essential company document, thus it’s critical to be comprehensive. So, this is how to create employees handbook:
STEP 1. LIST ALL OF THE COMPANY’S PRESENT POLICIES.
Your employee handbook will be built around your company’s policies, which are those sets of instructions or regulations that specify certain courses of action inside your corporation. Examine your current ones and make any necessary modifications.
Then, take a glance around and note any customs that are followed frequently at work (e.g. dress codes, requesting vacation time, etc.). You’ll need to create a policy if you don’t already have one for these practices or procedures.
Here are some suggestions for general rules you ought to follow:
- Employee conduct: can refer to anything that guides how you want employees to behave when representing your business, such as your code of conduct. A section on professionalism that addresses issues like dress code, conflicts of interest, and your smoking, drug, and alcohol regulations can also be added.
- Employment Relationship: Employer-employee relationships, including non-compete and confidentiality agreements, are described under the heading “Employment relationship”
- General employment information: Should contain details regarding how your company runs on a daily basis. An equal opportunity policy, details on accommodations, and policies against harassment and discrimination should all be included in this information.
- Attendance: Information on items like work hours and overtime, breaks, what to do in inclement weather, and rules for remote working must be included in this section.
- Compensation and benefits: This section gives a broad overview of the perks that are offered to every employee at your organization, such as retirement benefits, bonuses, and medical insurance.
- Time Off: Include information on paid vacation days, paid holidays, sick days, bereavement days, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), attendance policies, and more under the heading “Time off” Be sure to convey to staff members the correct procedure to follow when seeking time off.
- Acceptable use: Here, you must specify what is expected of employees in terms of how they use business property. This applies to your policies about landlines, mobile phones, computers, and office supplies. In the digital age, you should also provide details on your social media usage policy.
- Employee monitoring: Explain to your staff how their daily activities are being observed. Do workplace PCs, for instance, come with monitoring software?
- Performance Expectations: Include your professional development and performance evaluation rules in the section titled “Performance expectations” You must also provide details on how you will respond if an employee violates any company rules. This may include sanctions, methods for resolving disputes, justifications for quick termination, and more.
- Exit Policies: Be ready for when your staff leave with “Exit policies” have knowledge of themes including retirement, firing, and exit interviews.
For advice tailored to your company, consult your legal counsel and/or the human resources department. When it comes to those policies that are necessary per federal, state, and local laws, trusted professionals can help you decide what you need to include.
STEP 2. CREATE AN OUTLINE
Prepare a summary of the structure you want your employee handbook to have, along with a list of the subjects that must be included (hint: you identified them in Step 1). By doing this, you may make sure before you begin writing that nothing is missing.
An introduction, an outline of your business, and your goal statement should always be included because they are beneficial to new employees. Additionally, a declaration regarding at-will employment (where allowed), a contractual disclaimer, and an equal opportunity statement ought to be included.
Pay close attention to how you address any legal requirements that must be included in your employee handbook, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) anti-discrimination laws, the FMLA, COBRA, and other similar laws (FLSA). Legal counsel can offer recommendations specific to your company for what you should mention.
STEP 3: THIS IS TO DRAFT EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES FOR EACH POLICY AND PRACTICE.
Summarize each policy and process that you found in steps 1 and 2 in writing. Ensure that they are simple to read. After all, if you, the author, have trouble understanding them, imagine how much more difficult it will be for your staff to do so.
STEP 4: COMPOSE YOUR MANUAL.
Place your summary statements in the appropriate outline sections.
Step 5: Evaluate your efforts.
After you’ve put your manual together, take the time to carefully go over everything to make sure it’s accurate and simple to comprehend. Check to see if anything needs to be updated or is missing. If you’re working on it as a group, it might also be helpful to forward it to another team member or project team.
STEP 6: SEND IT OVER FOR LEGAL REVIEW
Always have your legal counsel examine your work to make sure it is accurate and free of any contractual representations or commitments.
STEP 7: CHOOSE THE PUBLISHING METHOD FOR YOUR MANUAL.
Once your employee handbook has received the blessing of your legal counsel, look for a service provider who can assist you in formatting and publishing it. This holds true whether you decide to make a printed or digital version of your guide (see more information in Step 8).
Remember that this could mean additional costs, so get quotations from a few suppliers to find out who you like the most and what you can afford. Prior to the vendor publishing the final version of your guide, always be sure to review a copy.
STEP 8: DISTRIBUTE IT!
Congratulations on finishing your manual and publishing it! You must now present it to your staff members and figure out how to incorporate it into your new hire onboarding procedure going forward. By all means, publish your manual online if you have a venue to do so, such as a company intranet website or a shared cloud server. Hard copies must be available for employees who don’t have access to computers or the internet, nevertheless. Make sure you can accommodate any requests from staff members who simply prefer to have a hard copy on hand.
Step 9: CHECK BACK AND MAKE ANY NECESSARY REVISIONS.
The creation of an employee handbook is a continuous process. Consider it a dynamic, ever-evolving document. Your handbook will change as employment laws or organizational regulations do, for this reason. Establish a routine to make sure you’re evaluating it regularly, whether it’s twice a year, annually, or every other year. This will guarantee that the data is accurate, pertinent, and legitimate.
Things that could make an Employee Book Impotent
However, various factors may limit your employees handboo productivity and they are:
Things fall apart rapidly when someone’s ego takes precedence over the team, the project, or the objective. This can happen when someone prioritizes “looking good” for the supervisor over completing the work, when someone is constantly blaming others, or when someone believes and acts as though they are too talented to complete the essential work.
2. Negative Rivalry.
Lighthearted rivalry can be advantageous, particularly for specific kinds of teams. Individual team members in a sales team, for instance, can be encouraged by gamifying their work with a leaderboard or rewards for excellent performance. However, excessive competition can undermine teamwork and foster a “you versus me” mentality that is bad for everyone.
3. A Lack Of Coordination.
Duplicate work, forgotten work, missed deadlines, etc. are all results of the left hand not understanding what the right hand is doing. A successful team must have effective communication.
Workflow is significantly slowed down when employees are required to obtain approval or sign off on everything they do. Employees must feel comfortable approaching team leaders for assistance when necessary and team leaders must be able to trust that their team members will make the right decisions. Here, finding the perfect balance is essential.
5. Unreasonable Standards.
Nothing is more demoralizing for a team member than the sinking realization that no matter how hard you work, you will never achieve your goals. Stretch goals that demand a lot from the team are wonderful, but goals that are well beyond your capabilities are demoralizing. Employees won’t be motivated to work harder; instead, they’ll be discouraged.
Other ones include being obstinate, being an emotional leader, and doing half-hearted work.
How to create Employees Handbook FAQs
Why is an Employee Handbook Necessary?
A helpful communication tool for both the company and the employee is an employee handbook. It offers written instructions and information about the organization's background, mission, values, rules, and advantages.
What else could a manual for employees be called?
Employee handbooks can also be referred to as staff manuals or employee field guides. Employee handbooks, or whatever you want to name them, are documents that every employee at a company should receive, frequently on their first day. They are made to cover all the information a new hire needs to know in order to begin their employment.
Who Drafts a handbook for employees?
The following stage is to write the organization's perspective, regulations, or policies under each of the overview issues once HR has finished the employee handbook's outline. The review procedure makes sure the data is precise and understandable. HR, a project team, or both may examine the handbook.
How much legal weight does an employee handbook have?
The good news is that employee handbooks are typically not regarded as legally binding agreements between employers and employees. To be certain of this, there are a few things you should include, such as: An explicit disclaimer that the handbook is not a contract and that employment is "at will;"
The importance of creating and maintaining an employee handbook can be overlooked by busy employers in the daily flurry of developing a business, balancing customer needs, and working to recruit and retain the right employees.
However, in the long run, having employees handbook in place could protect you and your business from disputes and potential legal action.
Yes, the main goal of employees handbook is to keep your company on track, in addition to acting as a useful reference for your staff and HR team. Therefore, making the effort to create and keep one is worthwhile.
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