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HR

Why You Need an Employee Handbook

Posted by Deepshikha Shukla

January 8, 2021    |     4-minute read (710 words)

Every company should have an employee handbook that includes its policies and programs, but many businesses still hold out on creating one. A handbook describes the company culture and values, defines processes and benefits, and helps you solve disputes and answer employee questions. It provides employees with information related to the organization's mission and goals in a written format. Here are a few of the reasons why companies should have an employee handbook in place.

Communicate Expectations

Having an employee handbook shows that you understand employees' need for information. Your employee handbook outlines your compliance with employment legislation and how you will address complaints or issues. It is a great way to communicate the company's policies and practices with your staff. It can also guide new employees through their first days and months at your company.

You can use the handbook to communicate how you expect employees to behave and perform at work and what they can expect from you. Putting company rules in writing can reduce misunderstandings and promote transparency between employers and employees. A handbook can also help staff members plan a vacation or parental leave.

Share Employee Benefits

A handbook ensures that employees are aware of all the benefits provided by the employer and their eligibility requirements. It also informs employees about various types of paid and unpaid time off offered by you. Staff members can read about employee benefits like paid lunch breaks, health insurance or remote work options.

An employee handbook can help you build a positive workplace culture and employee loyalty. It sets consistent policies throughout the entire company and ensures that all employees are getting the same benefits.

Helps With Unemployment Claims, Other Lawsuits

A comprehensive and compliant employee handbook can help you maintain a harmonious workplace and shield your company from legal trouble. Written company policies and procedures can help you deal with lawsuits. You can use them as evidence at the time of an unfair treatment claim or employee dispute. If an employee gets terminated for violating a policy, you can show the proof (handbook) that the employee already knew it, thus defending yourself.

Introduces Staff to Culture, Values 

An employee handbook ensures that the company policies are clearly communicated to new employees. It also helps you communicate the goals and values of the organization to employees. A social media policy can help prevent damage to a brand image by employees since they are already aware that they can be held liable for any online misconduct.

Makes Running the Business Easier

Drafting a handbook during the early stages of your business can help you determine the culture you want to create. Having the same rules for all employees and some general guidelines can help you deal with specific situations. Therefore, you should review your handbook frequently and update it when needed or if a new law is passed. A good handbook serves many purposes, like:

  • Setting expectations for new hires
  • Sharing updated company policies
  • Making training and enforcement easier
  • Ensuring employees are treated consistently
  • Helping ward off workplace disputes and conflicts

Simplify Onboarding

An employee handbook helps companies set standards and a positive employee culture. It can also help your team settle in faster so they spend less time wondering about policies and more time focusing on their new roles. With an employee handbook, you can maintain control over the dissemination of information. This detailed document ensures all existing and new employees are on the same page and leaves little room for error.

Proactive Updates Prevent Problems

Every company should have an employee handbook to establish clear guidelines before their team hits ten or more staff members. As your business changes and grows, review and update your handbook to ensure that your employees are up-to-date with new policies.

It may be a good idea to have your HR team tackle the employee handbook in-house, but if they don't have the bandwidth, you can use an online review service, download online templates, or get help from an outsourced team. Either way, if you have an attorney on staff or an HR expert, ask them to review the handbook before you send it out. This way, you can make sure your employee handbook reflects all new state and federal rules and regulations.

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