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Employee Handbook – Checklist | Importance | Execution | Steps

(Last Updated On: April 21, 2021)

An employee handbook is essential in the workplace for many reasons. Starting a brand new place in a brand new company can usually appear overwhelming, with numerous new faces, information, and policies to study.

But offering your new hires with an employee handbook early on of their employment (assume: the first day) is a great method to guarantee that the employee has all the necessary information and likewise has a useful resource to consistently refer back to if they’ve any questions.

Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is the Holy Grail of your company. It accommodates every part about every part that anyone would possibly need to learn about working inside your organization. It’s principally your company’s “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

While you may not include a whole part about towels, your employee handbook is one hundred p.c your “Don’t Panic” doc.

If you’re creating your very first employee handbook or updating your current one, learn on. I’ll clarify what you must embody in your handbook, together with some employee handbook greatest practices and design suggestions. I’ve additionally included premade employee handbook templates and plenty of employee handbook examples.

What is an employee handbook?

An employee handbook is a doc created by an employer (usually the Human Resources team) to speak employment and job-related information that employees should know.

Sometimes often known as an “employee manual”, “staff handbook”, “company policy manual” or perhaps a “culture code”, employee handbooks are given to new hires after their acceptance of a suggestion letter.

Employee handbooks are a human source important, alongside HR studies, efficiency opinions, and incident studies, so it’s essential to get right.

What is the distinction between an employee handbook and a policy handbook?

Employee handbooks and policy manuals can appear related, however, they’re two very various things. An employee handbook tells your employees what to anticipate, and ought to be written in the straightforward-to-know language.

A policy handbook, then again, is a doc that tells your employees to find out how to do issues and should embody more technical information.

For instance, in your employee handbook, you’ll inform your employees that they’ll work remotely for one month every (one of many perks at Venngage!), however, you don’t need to stipulate the nitty-gritty particulars in your handbook.

You ought to save the sensible information similar to find out how to request to your distant month, and what the working remotely expectations are, within the policy handbook.

The information in your employee handbook ought to match the information in your policy handbook, however, it ought to be a taster moderately than the whole policy. Think of your policy handbook as your phrases and situations doc.

Do I need an employee handbook?

If you haven’t devoted the time to writing and designing an employee handbook but–you’re possibly not the one. New and small companies specifically usually neglect to supply an employee handbook. But as your company grows, it’s useful to create a central area for your whole processes and policies to reside early on.

Employee handbooks are extremely efficient in sustaining a positive office culture and integrating newcomers into the team.

An employee handbook units clear expectations for all employees to make sure everybody throughout the organization can stay on the identical web page. In doing so, employee handbooks assist to determine a culture the place points will be handled pretty and persistently.

An employee handbook not solely serves your new employees, however your old employees as effectively. At all ranges and levels inside your company, employee handbooks will be useful. As talked about, handbooks can present newcomers with an introduction to your company and its inner construction.

Employee handbooks can paint a transparent understanding of what their supervisors count on of them. They can make sure that policies, procedures and dealing practices are enforced pretty and rigorously, thus eliminating confusion and misalignment inside your team.

Handbooks generally is a useful tool to your company to point out how essential your employees are to you–that is displayed by way of the information you deem as essential in your handbook (assume help initiatives and inclusivity efforts).

Lastly, handbooks function as an information communication automobile to facilitate the mixing of employees throughout the company whereas committing to fostering a sense of belonging throughout groups.

What is included in an employee handbook?

Employee handbooks usually embody three classes of content:

General information together with items similar to your company’s mission assertion, core values, policy summaries, and more.
Cultural information together with items similar to the holiday time, company perks, vacation schedules gown code, and so forth.
Case-specific information together with objects similar to company policies, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and so forth.

Every company may have completely different wants, however right here is an outline of what you must embody in a standard employee handbook:

Welcome Message From the Company
Company History
Company Vision and mission
Company policies
Office information and foremost office contact particulars
Employee advantages information

What ought to be included in an employee handbook will range by company relying on the company size and business. If you’re a giant organization with tons of of employees, your employee handbook will possible be a lot bigger and thorough than the employee handbook distributed inside smaller and/or much less bureaucratic firms.

That being mentioned, writing a great employee handbook depends on an intensive understanding of the company and its culture.

No matter the organization, most employee handbooks ought to cover these matters:

Company culture
Values and the mission assertion
Human useful resource and authorized information
Processes and procedures
Company policies together with trip time, sick days, bullying and harassment, and so forth.

An employee handbook is primarily an employee going through the document, so that is the best place to stimulate your employee’s rights and obligations associated with employment however in plain English as a substitute of the legal-jargon native to contracts.

How do I write an employee handbook?

Step 1: Write the definition of your employee handbook
Step 2: Design your employee handbook utilizing a template
Step 3: Compile all the information you could have gathered into your employee handbook
Step 4: Share your completed employee handbook

If you’re creating an employee handbook for the first time, it may be useful to talk to members of senior management. Ask them what they assume an important factor to speak to new hires can be. Making positive everyone is on the identical web page about expectations, policies, and culture from the start is a great method to kickstart the onboarding process.

Step 1: Write the definition of your employee handbook

Every great employee handbook begins with a great define. Make positive you’re taking the time to preplan to contents of your employee handbook before diving in. This will make sure you embody all necessary supplies to make your handbook efficient.

Employee handbooks are really a select your personal journey–nobody size matches all situation. Though the information included in each employee handbook match right into a set of frequent classes, the depth that firms will go into inside every class depends on varied elements similar to company size, company business, company location(s), company culture, and so forth.

See under for examples on what to incorporate in your employee handbook. Feel free to select and select which matters are most related to your business, or go all the way in which and embody the entire package deal.

General Information

Introduction and Purpose of the Handbook
Welcome Message From the Company
Company History
Company Vision
Company Mission
Company Values
Company Goals
Company Commitment to Employees
Code of Conduct
Non-solicitation Policy
Confidentiality Agreement
Non-compete Agreement
Employee Handbook Disclaimer
Employee Signoff Signifying Receipt and Acknowledgement that he/she understands and can abide by the contents included

Cultural Information

Dress Code
Working Hours and Overtime
Break and Lunch Periods
Attendance Expectations and Policy
Smoke-Free Workplace
Workplace Visitors
Payroll Information
Health Insurance
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Education Assistance
Expense Reimbursement
Stock Options
Employee Discounts
Holiday Schedule (Paid Holidays)
Company Social Events
Pets in the Workplace Policy
Vacation Time
Sick Days
Personal Days
Work from Home Policy
Flexible Work Hours Policy
Use of Company Equipment and Electronics
Performance Expectations and Evaluation
Retirement Plans

employee handbook

Case-Specific Information

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
Accommodation For People with Disabilities
Internal Employee Application Process
Open Door Policy
Access to Personnel Records
Harassment and Discrimination Policy
Harassment and Discrimination Reporting Procedure
Harassment Investigation Process
Health and Safety Policy
Joint Health and Safety Committee Information
Office Romances: Fraternization Policy
Severe Weather and Emergency Closings
Telecommuting Policy
Drugs and Alcohol Policy
Workplace Violence
Weapons at Work
Conflicts of Interest
Accepting and Giving Entertainment of Gifts
Travel for Business Policy
Mileage Reimbursement
Maternity/Parental Leave Polic
Bereavement Leave
Jury Duty
Family and Medical Leave
Sick Leave
Monitoring within the Workplace
Employee Conduct and Performance Disciplinary Process
Complaint Procedure
Employment Termination
Emergency Procedures
First Aid Kit

Once you could have chosen what to incorporate, you’ll be able to layout a desk of contents. This will assist information the remainder of your employee handbook, and just remember to don’t miss something. A desk of contents can also be a great method for your employees to shortly skip to a bit.

Step 2: Design your employee handbook utilizing a template

Next, you need to select a design type for your employee handbook. Some bigger organizations may have an in-home design team, however when you’re confronted with designing the company employee handbook by your self a premade template generally is a great place to start.

Venngage affords a wide range of totally customizable employee handbook templates so that you can use them.

Here are some employee handbook design top suggestions:

1. Present information visually each time you’ll be able to

Use icons, pictures, tables, illustrations, graphs, and charts in your employee handbook to interrupt up your content to make it participating and attention-grabbing to have a look at. These parts will maintain your readers engaged and enticed by the supplies included.

You can use this to emphasize essential information that you really want your viewers to pay particular consideration to. In this employee handbook, instance icons have been used to assist present new employees what they’ll count on their first day in the company.

Using visuals additionally helps retain your reader’s consideration. An employee handbook accommodates a lot of information that may be fairly overwhelming, so keep away from giant blocks of textual content each time possible.

New to graphic design and undecided find out how to successfully use icons? Watch: Everything you need to learn about icons (in lower than 3 minutes)

2. Use constant branding in your employee handbook

Consistent design is essential for creating professional branded inner comms paperwork. When creating an employee handbook you’re offering new employees a style of the company and its culture – so it’s particularly essential that you just use your company brand pointers.

With the Venngage My Brand Kit tool, Business users can add their company fonts, coloration palettes, and logos and see them immediately utilized to their employee handbook template.

3. Pick a coloration palette that represents your business

Color psychology is one thing you may not have heard of, however may have actually skilled. Just as some colors like red and orange really feel the heat to us, additionally they really feel pleasant and welcoming. Blues and greens can really feel cool or serene.

It’s essential that the colors you employ in your employee handbook reflect your organization and your company culture. In this instance the color palette could be very easy, simply whites, greys, and a pop of green, which appears to be modern and clear.

4. Make use of daring headers in your employee handbook

Your employee handbook ought to be an evergreen useful resource inside your company, with employees referring back to it frequently. But when your employees test back in along with your employee handbook they’re more likely to be on the lookout for a selected piece of information.

Help your employees find the information they need faster by making use of headers and subheaders inside your employee handbook.

Some greatest apply suggestions for utilizing headers:

Make your headers as descriptive as possible
Make the header a special coloration to assist it to stand out
Use a transparent, readable font for the header – this doesn’t essentially need to be the identical font that you just use for the body textual content

You may even use sub-headers inside a web page, like on this Diversity & Inclusion infographic:

5. Use lists, columns, and escape bins to speak essential information clearly

Avoid creating the dreaded ‘wall of text’ in your employee handbook by breaking apart the textual content into lists, columns, or bins. Columns are a great method to maintain readers engaged in your writing.

Our mind loves lists for lots of various causes (this New Yorker article is an efficient roundup!), so just remember to break down sophisticated information into straightforward to handle chunks.

A break-out field is a wonderful method to spotlight the most important information on a web page. In many employee handbook examples, similar to this one, the important thing policy dates or no matter are highlighted in a field that may be a completely different coloration. This tells your employees that this information is essential, however, it additionally makes it simpler for employees to search out.

Step 3: Compile all the information you could have gathered into your employee handbook

Once you could have picked a design type and have your define and information locked down you’ll be able to start to tug collectively your employee handbook.

Using your desk of contents, create a clean web page in your doc for every part and add the part header (test the employee handbook instance under). This will show you how to visualize the construction of the employee handbook you’re making.

The information ought to be communicated and displayed in a transparent and straightforward to comply with the format. The terminology ought to be acquainted with your viewers and straightforward to know.

If there may be complex information, think about including a glossary to outline ideas or phrases. Make positive your desk of contents can also be clearly laid out.

Go by way of your clean employee handbook filling out information and including sections. Some people choose to work methodically writing pages from start to complete, whereas others choose to leap about including information because it enters their mind.

A great way to be sure to don’t miss something is to make use of colors to point when a bit nonetheless wants work, like on this employee handbook instance:

Once you could have an employee handbook first draft it’s possible you’ll wish to share it with different people inside your company for suggestions.

If you’re a Venngage Business user, different people in your team can depart feedback immediately on the doc utilizing the personal share link – making team collaboration a lot simpler.

At the end of the day, creating an in-depth and up-to-date handbook is a collaborative process. Why not invite your team that will help you create your company’s handbook with you?

Our real-time collaboration characteristic (Business plans solely) will show you how to collaborate along with your team anytime, anyplace, in real-time:

Step 4: Share your completed employee handbook

Post the handbook in varied places. It is essential to make sure the employee handbook is straightforward to search out for everybody. Ours is included in all employment provide letters, within the onboarding process and pinned on Slack.

You may additionally email a duplicate to your employees and have onerous copies across the office, simply be sure you maintain everybody up to date if you replace the handbook. To make keeping monitor of most present copies, you might use a model code for your handbooks.

You may even create your employee handbook as an interactive PDF and interlink between paperwork and websites, to make it straightforward for your employees to search out all the particular paperwork and sites that you just reference throughout the handbook. Then, publish your employee handbook online.

How usually must you replace your employee handbook?

Employers shouldn’t underestimate the worth of sustaining the employee handbook. Maintaining that the employee handbook is correct and up-to-date is crucial in guaranteeing your employees are well-informed of policies and procedures and that your business is attaining the cultural advantages of getting an employee handbook within the first place.

If your business fails to maintain your employee handbook up to date to reflect necessary adjustments, it may well place your business susceptible to cultural disruption and worse, litigation.

Put merely, you must replace your employee handbook each time one thing inside your office adjustments. Companies ought to review their employee handbook yearly on the very least to make sure it’s reflective of society’s unavoidable adjustments.

Every year, companies ought to schedule a time to take a seat down and think about how your jurisdiction and business has modified up to now year to find out in case your policies are nonetheless present, how they are often up to date, and what policies need to be added.

Items can change for an awesome quantity of causes.
Some frequent situations that would result in a necessary replacement in your employee handbook embody:

Laws change
Technological advances
Expansion of your business
Company adjustments
Personnel adjustments

Beyond the significance of defending your company from litigation, your handbook says rather a lot concerning the culture and expectations of your business, for brand new and old employees alike. Keeping your employee handbook updated is essential to the well-being of your company.

Employee Handbook Samples is Here

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