Although the business world is constantly evolving and every organisation has a different method of operation, an Employee Handbook is a traditional business tool that should never be neglected.
Not only does an Employee Handbook create clarity of company policies and procedures, it also acts as a guideline to ensure consistent goals, culture and objectives are in place throughout each department.
Taking this into account, here are our five reasons creating or revising an Employee Handbook will increase business success and improve work culture;
1. Employees are introduced to the company ethos and values from the get-go
If all employees are inducted and trained based on the same values, it is a sure way of ensuring that every team or department is on the same page. Having a written document that addresses what sets a company apart increases employee buy-in and eliminates confusion.
2. It presents a clear-cut explanation of what is expected of employees
Whether it is in regard to working hours, paydays, dress code, employee behavior, or other important information that is difficult to fully cover in a simple induction, a handbook is a material document that can be referred to at any time, leaving no reason for anyone to be uninformed.
3. Employees are well informed of their benefits and rights
An Employee Handbook is vital to human resources (HR) management. By communicating to employees what policies the company has in place, it demonstrates employment law compliance and ensures there is a uniform message being delivered. Additionally, it gives employees a reference for any benefits the company offers and who qualifies for them, such as health insurance or paid leave.
4. For larger companies, Managers will feel better supported
The handbook will express how situations such as staff performance, interviewing and hiring, and corrective actions for example, should be dealt with according to business policy. By bringing attention to potential scenarios and how they should be handled, it makes a Manager’s course of action simpler and makes other employees aware of the consequences of not following policies. In general, establishing this agreement prior to any of the outlined scenarios occurring can create an understanding among all employees and increase overall happiness in the workplace.
5. It defends against any employee claims
Lastly, having a compliant employee handbook can reinforce the system of care you have in place and reiterate that there were company policies in place at the time of any claim.
So now that you’re convinced of the benefits of an Employee Handbook to your organisation, what exactly should it comprise of?
An Employee Handbook is dependent on the organisation’s size and will be influenced by its culture and the nature of its business. However four areas that are essential to creating a great Employee Handbook include:
The Company's Story
It should emphasise he company mission, values and goals that employees should work towards on a day-to-day basis.
Highlight the policies that are in place, what is required of employees and explain the company’s commitment to ensuring they are enforced.
The Procedure Manual
Provide support for managers and employees to ensure there is clear guidance relating to training and knowing the correct method for completing daily work tasks.
The benefits a company offers and how an employee qualifies for them should be clearly outlined in this section.
Some final thoughts you should keep in mind when creating your Employee Handbook include making sure you involve your key people throughout the creation and revision of the handbook.
Modern businesses are constantly evolving, so be sure to frequently consider how these changes impact your Employee Handbook. Lastly, the Employee Handbook should always be a portable document that is stored somewhere known and easily accessible to all employees.
If your business doesn’t have an Employee Handbook, or you know the one it does have is out dated, consider revisiting it and ensuring it has the intended impact. This is a surefire way to support a consistent workplace environment throughout all departments or branches. A strong handbook keeps employees well informed, inspires confidence and helps them to feel valued as a member of your team.