The employee handbook is basically a mix of your company’s policies, procedures, main employment conditions, and expected workplace behavior.
In this article, we will cover how to create the perfect employee handbook that will serve both you, as the employer and your employees. Regardless of the size of your business, the employee handbook is a fundamental document.
Employee handbook guide summary:
The employee handbook is a booklet that comprises your company's mission, culture, practices, policies, and expectations. This essential document protects you as the employer from possible litigation and it's also convenient for your employees, because it spells out all your policies positively. If you are terrified by creating it for your company, we offer you a sample which will make your job extremely easy.
If you are onboarding a new hire and you want an employee manual where the existing staff can refer to you can start with our free to use one.
Note: The employee handbook is also referred as the employee manual, staff handbook, or company policy manual.
The purpose of an employee handbook is to have a guide for the employee around culture, policy, practices and principles. It's also a great way to explain set the company tone and describe basic work information to new hires. Find below why the handbook is useful not only for the employees but also for employers.
Certainly. By clearly presenting the set of procedures, working conditions and the behavior you expect from your employees, you will place yourself in a save position. The employee has been informed, so there is no ”I had no idea”. You will also create an environment of confidence and transparency. Another important aspect for the employer is setting the progressive Discipline Policy, highlighting the forbidden behaviors and their repercussions, therefore reducing the risk of litigation.
Definitely. They will always be informed about what is expected of them, in terms of work-etiquette and discipline and they will be in touch with the benefits and compensation they are entitled to. Last, but not least, you want them to know exactly what is your company’s vision and values.
The employee handbook can become rather dense, but there are a few points that should not be left out:
In order to be accessible to the staff and also effective for the company, the handbook should meet some requirements:
GuideSpark found out that 43% of generation Y are not reading the majority of the employee handbook, while 11% haven’t even opened it!
You can view the employee handbook as a means of dialog between the company and your staff, so be sure to include the aspects that are critical to your work culture and work environment.
It doens't matter how you call it: the employee handbook, the culture book, the employee manual, the introduction kit, the company playbook, or the business atlas. This document is different for every company.
It reflects company’s mission, policies and expectations in regards to new employees. Take a look at some cool staff handbook examples: Valve, Netflix & Hubspot, Trello, Zara, Dansk Supermarket Group, Facebook or McDonald's.
How to use this book?
This book isn’t about fringe benefits or how to set up your workstation or where to find source code. Valve works in ways that might seem counterintuitive at first. This handbook is about the choices you’re going to be making and how to think about them. Mainly, it’s about how not to freak out now that you’re here.
Fast is better than slow. While slow is adding unnecessary embellishments, fast is out in the world. And that means fast can learn from experience while slow can only theorize. Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So fast doesn’t just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.
We’re glad to have you at McDonald’s. As with any successful business, the success of the whole depends on each member doing his or her part. Every employee is important. Since our success depends on each person, it’s our goal that we grow together. The key element to growth is communication. Without it an atmosphere of misunderstanding, distrusts, and low productivity prevails which in the end affects the most important person in our stores – the customer.
We got inspired by the best. You can do it, too. There are many other out there for you to discover.
Our free template is ready for you to download and you will only need to replace the words in brackets with your company's ground rules. Within the chapters of the 12 pages sample please feel free to customize it any other way to match your organization and your staff's needs and expectations. Instant download, no email required.
After you download the free sample employee handbook, you can adjust it to your own needs. This policy manual was written to apply to a wide variety of companies from startups to medium business and in all kinds of sectors.
You will see that in the document you have several words in brackets that you need to swap with your company information. Take into consideration that this is not a legal document and it doesn't consider the legislation that applies to your business.
Note: This employee handbook is a great document to provide to provide to welcome new hires.
This sample employee handbook contains the following chapters:
2.1. Employment applications
2.2. Employment relationship - Employment-at-will
2.3. Changes in policy
3. Definitions of Employee Status
3.1. Types of employees
4. Employment policies
4.1. New employee orientation
4.3. Prohibition of discrimination and employment equity
4.4. Probationary period for new employees
4.5. Work hours
4.7. Break periods
4.8. Emergency closings
4.9. Employee personnel files
4.10. Personnel data changes
4.11. Performance review
4.12. Disciplinary action
4.13. Employment termination
4.14. Work safety
4.15. Health issues
4.16. Medical attention
4.17. Building security
4.18. Company supplies and expenditures
4.19. Expense reimbursement
4.20. Visitors in the workplace
5. Wage and Salary Policies
5.1. Wage or salary increases
6. Code of Conduct
7.2. Simple IRA
7.3. Social Security and Medicare
7.5. Record keeping for vacation hours
7.7. Jury duty and military leave
8. Employee Communications
8.1. Procedure for handling complaints
8.2. Bulletin boards
8.3. Suggestion box
8.4. Staff meetings
Before getting started, you should know there are some general guidelines to be followed when designing an employee handbook:
Don't forget that the final step you need to take in order to obtain compliance is to get every employee's signature on a document named the acknowledgment form. It's the standard practice that documents they have reviewed, understood and agreed to the terms existent in the employee handbook.
The employee handbook template we offer can be used in multiple industries. Oh, and don't neglect the acknowledgment form used for everyone's signatures. You can also download it for free right here!
Now since you have your perfect company handbook, a good next step would be to do the following:
Note: Once the handbook gets updated with new changes, it's best to communicate this to your employees. It is not necessary that you print the new manuals every time a change is made. Our recommendation is that once changes occur, you should update your online version to reflect the changes and make sure your personnel is aware and has access to the online version of the handbook.
The employee handbook is the foundation for your company policies, procedures, standards in relation to the law and ensures that they are aligned to your employees' interests and your company values and principles.