Your employee handbook can serve many roles. It is a great document for explaining your company to new employees. It’s also a powerful tool for current employees, allowing them to know exactly what is expected of them in the workplace. It’s even a great document for your human resources department, a public way of explaining exactly what behaviors are expected by your company. Putting together one of these documents isn’t always easy, but putting in the work can help your company run more efficiently. As such, it’s important to have a few employee handbook tips to ensure you have the right information in your handbook.
Basic employee handbook tips
Every employee handbook is different, but there are a few sections that should always make the cut. Not only does including this information make it easier for new employees to acclimate to your company, but the information can also make your office manager’s life much easier. The following ten sections should be included in every employee handbook.
Equal employment and non-discrimination
Every employee handbook should have equal employment in non-discrimination language included in a conspicuous place. This information is mandatory and cannot be skipped. Federal and state laws will let you know exactly what must be included, so follow them to the letter. Never leave this section out.
Who you are
Every good employee handbook should contain a bit of information about the company. This is where you can talk about what your company does, how it was started, and its mission today. A good handbook will describe the company’s culture and its goals, giving employees the impression that they are joining something bigger than themselves. This is your chance to showcase what is important to your company.
Employee promotion/review policies
How are employees reviewed at your business? How do promotions work? What, in short, can a new employee expect for his or her future for the company. Adding this information to the handbook gives you a firm schedule for how these procedures will be undertaken and allows your new employee some guidance. Even if there’s no definitive policy for promotion at your place of work, try to note the importance of reviews insofar as promotions are concerned.
If your company doesn’t have harassment policies in place already, they need to be made and put into your handbook. This is not just something that needs to be done to cover your company legally – it should be done to let employees know you take such matters seriously. Outline your procedures, including methods of reporting and what kind of investigative procedure should be expected. If you can add this to your handbook, all of your new employees will know that certain types of behavior just aren’t tolerated at your place of work.
Basic office procedures
Every office has its own quirks, some of which have been codified into office procedure. Whether it’s how to order more paper for a printer or what foods need to be kept out of the office for allergy reasons, these basic bits of office procedure must be put down in writing. Don’t just put them in your handbook – make sure to add information about who the employee can contact if he or she has any questions. This kind of information makes it easier for a new hire to acclimate to the office and allows them to seamlessly become part of the larger machine.
While it may be difficult to outline your company’s benefits package in a handbook, you can give some basic information. If your company offers insurance, make sure to acknowledge that your employees should receive a benefits package upon being hired. If there is any waiting period before the benefits kick in, make sure to add that as well. While you might not be able to get into policy basics, add the contact information for any individuals that may be contacted in order to answer benefits-related questions.
Social media rules
Social media rules are a must in the modern workplace. Remind your employees that they may represent your company even when they are off the clock and that certain rules may apply to them. Be clear about in what circumstances the company will consider the worker to be representative of the company as well as what types of social media posting might cause trouble. In addition to these rules, outline a policy for the use of social media in the workplace. If your company blocks social media sites, make sure to reiterate that this is done for the purposes of productivity.
Outline all of your pay policies in your handbook. Workers should be able to point to this document to know when they will be paid, as well as what to do when any issues with pay occur. Make sure to include information about holiday pay and overtime in this section as well. This cuts down on monetary insecurity in your employees and will take a fair number of questions off the plate of your HR representatives as well.
Your employee handbook doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom – if there are perks to working at your office, make sure they are acknowledged in the handbook. If everyone at your office gets a discount at your place of business or if you know that a local apartment complex offers a reduced rate for those who work for you, include it in this section. Make sure that you clearly point out when and how these perks can be used, as well as the fact that using the perks is not an obligation.
An acknowledgement page
If you really want your handbook to provide important information, you must make sure that everyone in your office has read the document. As such, you’ll want to add an acknowledgment page that can be returned to HR. Every new employee should sign this page to acknowledge that he or she has received the document and understands that important material is within. Keeping this acknowledgment page allows you to create a paper trail for the future.
These ten sections should be in every employee handbook. They help to educate employees about not only the rules of the workplace, but about the expectations that are a part of the workplace culture. If you are working to improve how your company functions and to educate your employees, it’s always useful to get a little outside help. If you are looking for more information about handbooks or about other human resources matters, make sure to contact PayTech – and while you’re at it, sign up for our newsletter to make sure you’re getting the most up-to-date information for your business.