How to Write an Employee Handbook and What to Include
An employee handbook ensures that all employees are informed of the regulations and standards needed to adhere to the work. However, creating an employee handbook is a significant task. What kind of information should you write to an employee's manual?
In this article, we'll go through an employee handbook, how to develop one, and what you should include in one, along with employee handbook examples.
What Is an Employee Handbook?
An employee handbook (sometimes called an employee manual or a staff handbook) is a document that outlines a company's rules, regulations, and expectations for its workers. It also outlines what the company expects from its personnel. Usually, New employees are given a copy of the employee handbook and asked to sign a document acknowledging that they have read it and agree to the rules.
Why Do You Need an Employee Handbook?
The employee handbook provides the details that an employee needs to be aware of working for the company. It does more than outlining the firm's policies and procedures. It also incorporates the most current labor rules and social norms that all employees and the firm must follow.
An employee handbook is an integral part of the recruitment process, as it provides factual information to new hires to support them in adjusting to their new positions. It sends a clear statement about who the organization is, their functions, and the expectations from their employees."
There are eight factors why an organization should have an employee handbook:
Employees are introduced to the company's culture, mission, and values.
Employees understand what is expected of them.
Employees are informed about what to anticipate from management.
The document clearly outlines company policies.
It demonstrates the advantages that the organization has to offer.
It ensures that federal and government regulations are complied with.
It provides clarity on where employees can seek assistance.
Are Employee Handbooks Required?
Depending on the industry and region, a firm may be required by law to have certain written policies. The handbook can be a helpful tool for keeping all of the important policies in one location. Firms must consult their legal attorney to determine which regulations apply to them.
A company’s employee handbook can also safeguard it from legal action. For example, if an employee is fired, having an at-will policy recorded in the handbook might help the firm prove it was legally correct.
An employee handbook is the most crucial document of an organization. It is more than just a list of corporate policies; it establishes the tone of the firm's culture and outlines values and acceptable workplace behavior.
How to Write an Employee Handbook
An employee handbook should be structured and written clearly. Create an outline with a logical framework after you know what information you want to include. The below steps explain the process of developing and writing an employee handbook:
1. Examine the current company policies and make any necessary changes.
The handbook is written using company policies and procedures as a guide. The HR team should look around the workplace for common practices already in place, and if there aren't any, policies should be created. Once the firm has revised policies and formalized common practices, they should be re-examined by legal counsel, and HR should use these final policies to develop the employee manual.
Companies should also examine the rulings and guidelines of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
2. Compile a list of what should go into the employee handbook.
The subjects contained in the employee manual should encompass the firm's mission statement, an equal opportunity statement for recruitment, a legal disclaimer, the objective of the employee manual, and the organizational background. The organization has the final say on whether or not to include other topics. Legal mandates for federal and state legislation that influence employees are important elements to consider.
3. Prepare an overview of each policy and procedure.
A statement that outlines each policy and procedure should be included in the employee handbook. The explanations should be simple to understand and free of legal jargon; in other words, they should be written with the employee audience in mind.
4. Place each comprehensive overview in its proper category as per the outline.
Once HR has finished the outline and layout of the employee manual, the next stage is to define the firm’s position, rules, or policies, according to each of the outlined policy headings.
5. Do a final review.
The review process guarantees that the data is correct and understandable. HR, a project team, or both may examine the handbook. Once the document is completed, It is sent to legal counsel for approval.
6. Publish and distribute the employee handbook.
The next stage is to begin the publishing process, which includes formatting the guide to a specified size and style and sending it to the vendor. Upon completion of the formatting, a last inspection and approval should be carried out before delivering the printing manual.
Once the final copies arrive, distribute them among employees or during new-hire orientation. Companies should utilize the intranet or email to post the manual electronically.
What Should Be Included in an Employee Handbook?
An employee handbook should outline your company's regulations, as well as your expectation of your employees and what they can expect from you. It should define your legal duties as a company and the rights of your employees. The below list highlights the major employee handbook contents:
General employment practices
The mission and vision of your organization, as well as a description of its culture
Descriptions of the organization's processes
Code of Conduct
Diversity and anti-discrimination policy
Policy on discipline
Policy on health and safety
Policy on compensation
Benefits policy for employees
Working hours and conditions
Policy on attendance and leave of absence
Policy on work performance
Policies on communication
Information technology policy
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Paid vacation policy(including maternity and paternity leave)
Disclaimers: Although the employee manual provides policies and guidelines, it does not constitute a promise or contract of continued employment. Also, state that the policies in the employee handbook are subject to modification at the company's discretion.
Employee Handbook Templates
Below are two Employee Handbook Templates that can be used as inspiration:
Template – 1
III. VOLUNTARY AT‐WILL EMPLOYMENT
IV. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
V. WORK ELIGIBILITY
VI. JOB DUTIES
VII. TIMEKEEPING REQUIREMENTS
A. Hours of Work
B. Attendance and Punctuality
VIII. EMPLOYMENT POLICIES AND PRACTICES
A. Definition of Terms
IX. JOB DESCRIPTION AND SALARY MANAGEMENT
X. REVIEW OF WORK
XI. ECONOMIC BENEFITS AND INSURANCE
A. Health/Life Insurance
B. Social Security/Medicare
C. Workersʹ Compensation
D. Retirement Plan
E. Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan
XII. LEAVE BENEFITS AND OTHER WORK POLICIES
B. Casual Leave
C. Sick Leave
D. Personal Leave
E. Military Leave
F. Jury Duty
G. Maternity and Paternity Leave
I. Extended Personal Leave
J. Hazardous Weather Conditions
K. Seminars and Conferences
XIII. EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENT
XV. RETURN OF PROPERTY
XVI. REVIEW OF WORKFORCE AND EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
XVII. MANPOWER RECORDS
XVIII. OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT
XIX. NON‐DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
XX. COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SECURITY
XXI. POLICY ON INTERNET USAGE
Template – 2
Equal Employment Opportunity
Recruitment and Hiring
Exempt Non-Exempt Employees
Orientation and Training
Immigration Law Applicable to All Employees
Hours of Work and Overtime
Flex Time and Telecommuting
Attendance and Punctuality
Dress Code and Public Image
Responsibilities and Obligations
Violation of this Policy
Confidentiality of Electronic Mail
Safety and Accident Rules
Promotions and Transfers
Penalties for Violation of Anti-Harassment Policy
Salary Deductions and Withholding
Long and Short-Term Disability Plan
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
V. Holidays, Vacation, and Other Leave
Accrual and Carryover
Military Service Leave
Family and Medical Leave
Break Time for Nursing Mothers
Civic Duty Leave
Appearance as a Witness
Leaving the Company
Manage Employee Handbooks With Lanteria
Employee handbooks are essential for any company; they make sure that everyone in the organization is on the same page and working toward the same objectives.
Because employee handbooks are so crucial, they can't be rushed. You must give careful consideration to what you write and consider your target audience. Keep the document visually appealing and engaging by including pictures and colors, keeping paragraphs short, and using simple language.
And, most importantly, the employee handbook needs to be easily accessible to every employee. With Lanteria, you can upload the employee handbook, and employees can access it through their self-serve portal. We make it easy for them to get needed information at any time and any place.
If you’re ready to create a killer employee handbook, get started with Lanteria, the premier end-to-end HR software!