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What is an employee handbook?

What is an employee handbook?

By: Content Team
employee recognition

What is an employee handbook?

As an organisation develops and grows, it’s vital for the business to have a handbook for employees. This important document details policies, procedures, and rules for members of staff. These rules need to be maintained to ensure a workplace enforces a healthy working culture, in turn creating a better working environment for employees.

At its core, an employee handbook is a collection of
important information pertaining to the organisation it represents. The main goal of an employee handbook is to make sure new and existing colleagues know and follow company values. 

It also helps new employees understand the workplace they’re entering. During the on boarding process, an employee handbook explains the basics like who the business is, how things are done, and what is expected of staff members. It’s best to give new employees an employee handbook on their first day, or if possible, before their employment begins. This is recommended, as is sending a letter to help support new employees during the induction process.

Businesses need to ensure all staff members understand what
the company’s employee handbook says. Comprehending this knowledge is necessary for organisations to continue running in a smooth and successful fashion.

Fundamentally, an employee handbook should be a one-stop
destination for employees; serving as a reference for any queries they might have. If the information is correct and up to date, it also saves the time of employers due to team members being able to find answers to their questions without asking for help.

Why are employee handbooks important?

All organisations, no matter their size, must adhere to the rules set by employee law. Some policies are required by law to make sure employees are kept safe, such as how to conduct a disciplinary procedure, as well as information on health and safety.

An employee handbook is how employment law is regulated in the workplace. Every business must explain its approach to issues, ranging from bullying and harassment to how employees conduct themselves online, such as what they post on their social media pages. This is why it’s essential for employers to keep the employee handbook up to date, as this allows them to deal with any change in circumstances.

Such an example would be the coronavirus pandemic, when many
employees began to work from home to help combat the spread of the virus. Until then, remote working wasn’t a norm for many people. However, due to an unforeseen situation on a global scale, organisations had to adapt to keep functioning. Hybrid working is more common, and as a result, employee handbooks have to reflect this. Policies focused on hybrid working should detail what is and isn’t expected of employees, such as what they should wear on work calls to avoid any potentially embarrassing moments from developing. They should be firm and clear, with no room for any sort of confusion.

Company policies and procedures

The policies found in an employee handbook should be tailored to fit the needs of the business. As such, it’s vital to take in considerations like industry, sector, and size of the organisation. Professional guidance and regulation from governing bodies are other components to factor in. At its core, an employee handbook should be proud in its promotion of company values, as well as any strategies in play.

Employees seek a sense of purpose. They’re more likely to feel committed to their workplace when they believe their employer upholds integrity – conducting business in accordance with respected morals and ethics. This in turn leads to a plethora of benefits, such as increased productivity, vibrant company culture, and heightened performance in employees. When all of these are combined, it ensures businesses are reaching their maximum performance.

Employee handbook: what needs to be included

As stated earlier, every company is different. An employee handbook needs to reflect, as well as support, what a business stands for. Maintaining a positive reputation is how current employees are kept, but also how future employees are recruited.

Here’s our checklist of what to include in an employee handbook:

Once an employee handbook is created, it needs to be made
readily available for members of staff to access if and when needed. To
minimise the cost of printing employee handbooks, it would be more convenientto have it in a digital format; hosted online. The contents list should be clear, allowing employees to find the policy they’re looking for. At its core, an employee handbook serves as the cornerstone of any workplace hoping to thrive.

Reward and recognise employees

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