An employee handbook is a powerful tool to communicate an organization’s values and vision. It lays the groundwork for a company’s culture and influences how the organization functions on a day-to-day basis. Plus, it can form the first line of defense in an employment lawsuit or litigation.
A well-written and comprehensive employee handbook will benefit both the employee and the employer. Below are highlights of some specific reasons that every employer should create and maintain an accurate handbook.
- Introduces employees to company culture, mission and values.
Clear values and a strong culture help drive consistent customer service, work habits, company objectives, and more, and help keep companies headed in the right direction.
- Communicates your expectations for employees.
A well-written handbook gives employees a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and creates a more harmonious workplace by providing guidance on expected behavior and conduct.
- Tells employees what they can expect from management.
An employee handbook clarifies company objectives and leadership styles – as well as management best practices – to foster healthy manager-employee relationships.
- Helps ensure key company policies are clear and consistent.
A handbook will familiarize employees with your organization’s policies relating to employment, conduct, compensation, health and safety, and more.
- Showcases the benefits your organization offers.
From paid time off, to retirement plans, to employee perks or events, an employee handbook lets employees know about a company’s suite of benefits, which can help increase employee retention.
- Ensures compliance with federal and state law.
A handbook is a critical tool for ensuring and demonstrating that your organization’s policies and procedures comply with your legal obligations.
- Helps defend against employment claims.
An employee handbook can serve as valuable protection in the event an employee were to challenge an employer with a lawsuit.
- Lets employees know where to turn for help.
A handbook describes how employees can get help to resolve conflicts, report workplace violations, get workplace-related assistance, and answer other on-the-job questions they may have.
Contributed by Kym Hess, HR Business Partner, HR Collaborative, LLC.
View the on-demand webinar “Your Employee Handbook: Top 10 Issues” with Kym.