How To Write A Basic Employee Handbook For Your Business

There are several steps to follow when learning how to write a basic employee handbook for your business. Typically, companies use handbooks as a repository for all formally written policies. However, more than 40% of Gen Y are not reading a majority of their handbooks while more than 10% have never even opened a handbook. As a member of HR, you should develop a handbook that describes your company’s core values, policies and benefits. Follow these steps to write a basic employee handbook for your business.

Review And Update Company Policies

Before writing a basic employee handbook, you need to review and update your company’s policies. Scan your work environment and look for common practices that are already in place. Common practices could be dress code, safety procedures or coworker relations. Then, work with your employer to formalize common practices and update all policies. For example, reword old policies that contain statements including “be respectful of coworkers and the company”. This can be viewed by employees as a restriction of free speech. As a result, adapt and improve by coming up with clear policies such as “all insubordinate, threatening, intimidating, or disrespectful behavior against a manager, supervisor, co-worker, customer or vendor will result in discipline.” Also, you should consider conducting periodic policy reviews to stay current. Certainly, review and update current company policies before writing a basic employee handbook.

Add An Onboarding Section

Next, add an onboarding section into your business’ employee handbook. Of course, the main employees reading the handbook are new to the company. Therefore, you should implement an onboarding section to welcome them and introduce them to the business. In the onboarding section, include whether there is an at-will clause. This allows either party, business or employee, to end the relationship at anytime with or without notice. Certainly include an equal employment opportunity statement, a conflict of interest statement, and a confidentiality agreement. This can protect your company if difficulties arise in the future. More so, you need to include general details such as dress code, team structure and key contact information. Definitely add an onboarding section when writing your basic employee handbook.

Include Policies Required By Law

Then, when writing your business’ basic employee handbook, you must include policies required by law. Required policies differ by state and can be found through HR organizations, employment attorneys or state labor departments. For example, most states require a family medical leave policy, an equal employment/non-discrimination policy and a worker’s compensation policy. The Family Medical Leave Act requires that employees with a specific family size are given up to 12 weeks unpaid leave. This can be for child birth or care, care of an immediate member or if they have a serious health condition. Additionally, most states require businesses to post data stating that they follow non-discrimination laws and that they will compensate employees in case of an accident on the job. Definitely include policies required by law when writing your basic employee handbook.

Clearly State Work Obligations And Compensation

Furthermore, when writing your basic employee handbook, clearly state all work obligations and benefits. Employees get most of their day to day information from the handbook so be as concise and straight forward as possible. Ensure that your employees know how they get paid whether it be by the hour or through an employee time clock app. Or, if they are salaried, state the expected work hours for each day. By being more specific, your employees have a better understanding about their responsibilities. More so, being clear can protect your company as you leave nothing up to misinterpretation. Surely, write your business’ basic employee handbook by specifically stating work obligations and compensation.

Determine How You Will Distribute Handbook

Finally, determine how you will distribute your written basic employee handbook. You can either hand out physical handbooks or send them digitally. Physical handbooks are concrete and are hard to manipulate. However, they are harder to update and require redistribution every time something is changed. But with a creative idea, such as an employee comic book handbook, your employees may be more intrigued. Or, you can create your handbook online as a website or book. Interactive solutions capture the reader’s attention quicker and makes it easier to link to other pages or resources. More so, digital options can easily be updated while including the optimization of photos and videos. In fact, if you require a new human resources toolkit, you should learn how to conduct digital performance management. Of course, determine how you will distribute your business’ basic employee handbook as you’re writing it.

There are various steps to follow when writing a basic employee handbook for your business. Start by reviewing/updating your company’s policies for inclusive, clear and fair policies. Next, add an onboarding section as handbooks are usually created for new team members. Include any clauses, security statements or agreements. Research policies you are required by law to include in your handbook such as a worker’s comp policy, a leave policy and non-discrimination policies. Furthermore, clearly state work obligations and compensation such as when, how and how much employee’s will be paid. Finally, determine how you will distribute your employee handbook either through physical or digital solutions. Follow these steps to write a basic employee handbook for your business.

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