In today’s business landscape, a comprehensive employee handbook or policy manual is a must. Handbooks help employers effectively manage employees to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities. By documenting the expectations of your workers, an employee handbook helps maintain a professional environment.
A clearly worded, up-to-date employee handbook can help facilitate productive and profitable employee relations by delivering consistent and clear employer-employee communication. It’s designed, published, and distributed to employees to answer two important questions:
● What can employees and their families expect from the business?
● What does the business expect from its employees?
A well-written employee handbook or policy manual will answer these questions clearly and in-depth to keep the entire organization on the same page.
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The employee handbook or policy manual is a document of your company’s operating procedures. By spelling out what employees can and cannot do, it helps an organization run more smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, the employee handbook protects the rights of employees and employers by establishing policies. The document discloses legal information, such as workers’ compensation policy, health & safety policy, and workplace sexual harassment policies.
A current and published employee policy manual has several benefits and advantages that include:
● Helping employees understand company policies and procedures.
● Helping to promote consistency in the workplace and management credibility.
● Serving as a human resource guidebook and supervisor reference manual.
● Acting as an effective recruiting tool.
● Being an excellent orientation resource for new hires.
● Documenting fair employment practices and compliance with equal employment opportunity laws.
● Assisting in complying with federal and state employment laws.
● Being a valuable legal defense for your business if it is faced with an employee lawsuit.
A professional employee handbook usually begins with an introduction that includes a welcome message and an explanation of its purpose. No matter the needs of your organization, the handbook should be as comprehensive as possible. Things like purpose, corporate culture, federal/state policies, and company policies should all be included. Employees can also expect to find policies and procedures regarding the code of professional conduct, confidentiality, lunch breaks, benefits, and vacation and sick leave.
Company’s that provide their staff with an employee handbook and policy manual create better communication between employees and management. It encourages employees to seek out management if they encounter workplace issues or disputes. By giving employees the proper procedures for voicing their concerns, you’re showing that the company values every staff member and that you’re providing a positive work experience. A handbook should include everything from workplace bullying, excessive workloads, and shift change concerns.
The Bottom Line
An employee handbook is a valuable communication resource for both employers and employees. If written properly, it provides guidance and information related to your organization to give your employees clear expectations. By defining legal obligations and employee rights, a handbook provides valuable legal defense for your business.
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