employee handbook outline

9 Essential Areas to Cover in the Employee Handbook Outline

(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

The employee handbook should have a proper outline. Your company’s employee handbook will be distributed and read throughout the organization. As a result, it’s best to err on the side of caution. In other words, you’ll want to cover everything your staff needs to know. In this article I am going to share 9 useful area of employee handbook outline.

Employee handbook outline

Here are the 9 area you should cover in your employee handbook outline

1. Warm greetings

Every organization, regardless of sector, is required to welcome new employees. So it should be the first page of your employee handbook. The crew is always greeted with a warm and constant welcome.

If you’re stuck, consider how you’d greet your new recruits on their first day. You’d most likely give them a brief overview of your company and establish expectations for their onboarding.

So, everything should go here. Including:

A video to greet you. There’s no reason to complicate things. Simply record a brief welcome message from your CEO to new employees. Everyone will get the same introduction this way (watch our welcome video above)

The origins of your company. Give a brief summary of the company’s history. This shouldn’t be a big history lecture with a lot of dates and names to remember for your staff. Simply offer enough knowledge for the new employee to confidently and succinctly discuss how your firm got its start if questioned.

This is your mission statement. Describe the mission and vision of your firm. Explain why your firm exists in a brief paragraph (maximum of one paragraph).

Your company’s mission statement. Don’t forget to explain why it’s important to your company. What does your mission say about what you do and how you go about doing it?

Your business’s values. Make a list of and explain your company’s fundamental principles. Then, describe how they help you achieve your goals.

Your unique selling proposition. Include a statement about your formal value proposition. Also, remember to break things down. What made you decide on it? What does this imply for clients? And so forth.

A demonstration of your product. Give a thorough explanation of the product or service you’re offering. If you have more than one, make sure to keep them separate.

Describe your mission. Remember to explain how important it is to your company. What and how you do things are framed by your goal.

The values of your business. Your company’s fundamental beliefs should be listed and described. Then describe how they help you succeed.

Your distinct selling point. Your formal value proposition should be included. Also, don’t forget to deconstruct it. What made you decide on this particular option? What exactly does this imply for customers? Similarly,

A demonstration of your product’s features and functionality. Give a thorough explanation of the product or service you’re promoting. Make sure you separate them if you have more than one.

And the most effective method to do it is, to be honest. You’ll want to answer any questions your team might have about their job (even ones they won’t think to ask).

Consider the following scenario:

Contracts with your employees. That is, all of the distinct sorts of employees your firm has identified. Included are a full-time, part-time, intern, seasonal, and contract positions.

This is a statement that applies to everyone. This will be needed by law in many situations. However, if it’s optional in your region, it’s best to be safe and include it in employee handbook outline.

All of the local labor legislation. What do your workers need to know about their working rights legally?

And the most effective way to do it is to be open and honest. You’ll want to address any questions your employees may have about their jobs (even those they won’t think to ask).

As an illustration:

Contracts with your employees. That is, all of the distinct sorts of employees that your firm has identified. Part-time, full-time, intern, seasonal, and contract positions are all available.

A remark that applies to everybody. This will be needed by law in many situations. However, if it’s an optional feature in your region, it’s best to be safe and add it.

Each and every one of the local labor laws. What should your workers be aware of in terms of their legal rights at work?

And it all starts with stating your company’s position on difficult-to-discuss issues. Included are topics such as diversity, harassment, and public health. That way, if something goes wrong, there will be no ambiguity about how your firm will respond.

At the very least, you’ll have to deal with:

Your policy on diversity and inclusion. Make sure your company’s use of the terms “diversity” and “inclusion” is properly defined.

Your policy on confidentiality. We understand why you don’t want anyone outside your company to know how you do things. As a result, establish guidelines for how your staff is expected to keep your sauce a secret.

Any methods for data protection. Nowadays, data is worth its weight in gold. Many elements of our business would cease to function without it, therefore it’s critical to understand what is protected and how it is safeguarded (while complying with the General Data Protection Regulations, of course).

Your policy against harassment. What constitutes workplace harassment, a list of acts for which you have zero tolerance, and further disciplinary measures are all covered. Don’t forget to provide instructions on how your employees may report harassment they witness or encounter at work.

Your policy against workplace violence. What constitutes workplace aggression, a list of behaviors for which you have zero tolerance, and further disciplinary measures are also covered. Also, make it clear how your staff may report any workplace violence they witness or encounter.

Everything you need to know about health and safety. That is, any procedure or policy (including those relating to exceptional situations) that is relevant to keeping your team healthy and safe. Included are how you adhere to local regulations and accident reporting procedures.

2. Code of ethics

Everyone in the office should be at ease (even if the office is now Zoom). And it all starts with establishing community-wide rules for how everyone should conduct themselves at work.

While you are correct in believing that all of your team members are grownups, they are also human. So this is one of those circumstances when it’s better to be cautious than sorry. No one’s boundaries will be unintentionally breached this way.

At the very least, you should address:

Your dress code regulations. Even if you don’t have a dress code, you don’t want people wearing athleisure to your event. So, what sort of attire is acceptable for the workplace?

Your policy on conflicts of interest. At your company, what does a conflict of interest look like? And what are your disciplinary measures in the event of an incident?

Your company’s policy on employee fraternization. Examine your company’s guidelines for employee relationships in-depth, and clarify what constitutes consensual behavior. Most businesses aren’t very concerned about these issues, but you’ll want to follow a few rules to avoid any office PDA mishaps.

Your policy on relatives working for you. You don’t want anyone to get an advantage due to their surname. As a result, designate when (if at all) and in what capacity family members can collaborate at work. If your business welcomes guests, go through how to check them in and what they’re permitted to see. Remember that your staff is liable for their visitors.

3. Compensation and career advancement

Let’s face it: as much as your staff enjoys their work, they are there for the money. So, when it comes to how they are compensated, be specific.

However, not all forms of remuneration provide a pay stub. So don’t be afraid to invest in your staff in a variety of various ways. For example:

The following is a list of the various compensation levels. There are several regulations governing how exempt and nonexempt employees are rewarded, particularly in the United States. As a result, make sure your staff understands the differences and their legal rights dependent on which group they belong to. It shouldn’t be a mystery when it comes to how and when your staff is compensated. As a result, we strongly advise you to provide a detailed schedule of when employees may anticipate their paychecks to arrive.

Your remuneration plan. This is by no means a must. However, we think that every firm should have a payment plan that is fair to all employees. One that indicates what steps your firm is doing to eliminate unfair compensation practices.

Everything rises. You should approach the subject in two ways. One, by laying out the proper periods for employees to request raises and the circumstances under which they are given. Second, how supervisors can recommend employees for raises.
Your bonus system. Whether you provide incentives weekly, quarterly, or yearly, make it clear when and how they’re determined.

Procedures for managing performance. In other words, how do you assess the performance of your team members? Every employee should have a clear understanding of how success is measured. Also, what to expect when it comes to reviews.

Any possibilities for training and growth. In addition to cash incentives, many firms provide learning and training opportunities. Mention the many sorts of programs that are offered and how employees may benefit from them.

4. Perks and benefits

Benefits and perks refer to everything your company provides that isn’t connected to salary or professional growth.

However, far too many people are unaware of the incredible benefits that their firm provides. Or, if they do, they don’t understand how the benefits operate or how to take use of the advantages. That is, you are stuck paying for something that isn’t being used.

So make sure your employees are aware of what your firm has to offer. Here are a handful of the most frequent bonuses and advantages that you should mention:

Employee health insurance are available. It’s going to be a massive one! It’s important to break down all your staff needs to know about their healthcare alternatives, how to enroll, and what it covers. Also, don’t forget to review all applicable legislation, such as FMLA and COBRA.

Policy on workers’ compensation. Accidents happen, no matter how safe your workplace is. And if they do, you’re required by law to pay them. So go through all of the conditions that make you eligible for compensation. Also, what perks are offered, and how can someone qualify for them?

Work from home policies is in place. Almost everyone these days works from home. And, to ensure that your staff is truly working while they’re at home, you’ll want to establish certain ground rules and expectations.

Employees’ costs. Business travel, education, and skill development are frequently covered by employers. So you’ll want to learn everything there is to know about what counts as work-related costs and how to be reimbursed.

Parking regulations. Where to park, if it’s free, whether places are allotted, and parking lot etiquette is all covered. Furthermore, any procedures in place at your firm for obtaining a reserved parking space or a parking permit.

Every piece of corporate equipment should be aware of this. It’s likely that you provide your workers with the resources they require to succeed (such as laptops).

And you’ll want to make sure your equipment is returned in the same condition as when you handed it out. What should employees do with their tools? How will they be able to seek repairs or replacements?

5. Working hours and vacation time

When you know when something is going to happen and how long it will persist, it makes things feel more controllable. So you don’t want your staff to be uncertain when they’ll get their much-needed day off or when they should go to work.

So make a list of everything they’ll need to achieve a work-life balance, including:

Working hours and PTO are discussed in detail. What are your typical working hours? And how does one request PTO if they need to take a day off?

A list of paid vacations. List any and all holidays observed by your organization. AKA, on which days do your employees get off without having to use up their vacation time? Also, if any of your workers are required to work on certain days, make sure they understand how they will be reimbursed.

Your sick leave policy. By law, everyone is entitled to a set number of sick days. Just be sure to teach how to properly call out in these situations. Also, inform your staff about the long-term and short-term leave you provide to give them peace of mind.

Your policy on bereavement leave. Hopefully, the majority of your staff will never need to take time off like this. But what can they anticipate if they need to lament a family member’s death? Is it necessary for them to take time off? And how should they make their request?
Policies governing parental leave. When employees (or their partners) are expecting, what should they expect? Make sure you talk about how many weeks they’ll get to spend with their new baby, as well as anything else they need to know about stepping away or returning.

6. Termination and resignation of employees

While you may like to assume that all of your employees will remain on your team indefinitely, this is just not the case. So, when the time comes for someone to chose – or be instructed – to go on, you’ll need a clear game plan for their final days.

It’s also good to have it in your employee handbook so your employees know what they’re entitled to if they decide to quit.

So, at the very least, you’ll want to mention:

Any disciplinary proceedings that are being taken in a gradual manner. Outline your company’s disciplinary procedures, both from the employee and manager’s viewpoints.

Your resigning procedure. Walk employees and supervisors through all of the processes that must be completed after someone gives their two-week notice and before their last day on the job.

The procedure for terminating your employment. Discuss any applicable local regulations as well as the procedure your firm follows when dismissing an employee. In your reference procedure, be sure to highlight severance compensation and how the employer reimburses any unused vacation or sick days. How do you manage writing recommendations for workers who leave on good terms at your company?

The toughest thing is getting started. Start!

3 pointers for creating an employee handbook

Creating an employee handbook for your firm may be a difficult task. Especially if you’re just getting started.

1. First impressions are crucial.

Employee handbooks are, admittedly, lengthy. And if you just write down your best plays and pass them over to your team, they’re likely to collect dust. This is due to the fact that it is not particularly interesting – especially for adult learners.

However, you can take your employee handbook to the next level by including multimedia (funny gifs, video how-tos, and infographics). Additionally, ensure that your team is read.

Adult learners are more likely to interact with something that holds their attention, rather than something that causes their eyes to glaze over. Having a video or graphic that breaks down your critical need-to-know information may be a great assistance.

Quick embeds make it easier than ever to create a more engaging playbook. Simply drop a link to a movie, photo, gif, or any other form of multimedia.

2. Keep things straightforward.

The last thing you want is your employee handbook to be full of legalese. Instead, describe everything such that an 8-year-old may grasp it as a general rule. (If necessary, read it to your child.)

That way, your employees will be able to comprehend everything in your employee handbook. They’re also in line with your expectations, thanks to your transparent communication of all critical information.

3. Keep everything together in one location.

We’ll just say it: we think you should get rid of your old employee handbook. Especially because it’s likely that it’s just a jumble of misplaced documents and emails. That is, if it is written down at all.

That, however, is not helpful! Instead, you want everything put down in one easy-to-find location.

As a result, you’ll be able to delegate material from your employee handbook to specific members of your team. And make them responsible for any critical information.

Your employees may even access the material in real-time if they have a query about how your firm operates. That is, they are more likely to read your employee handbook (at least portions of it) many times! As a result, it’s a tremendous gain for you!

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