In many instances, having a freshly-printed employee handbook – or “policy manual”, as it might alternatively be known – to give to an employee as they join your company isn’t just a nice idea. It can actually prove essential for preventing legal claims that could otherwise ruin your business.
An employee handbook can bring a multitude of other, rather more subtle benefits to your workplace, too. Here are some examples of those advantages.
Employees can better understand what your company is about
What is your brand’s ethos and set of values that you expect all employees to follow as standard when working for you?
You could include the answer in the handbook, addressing pertinent questions focusing on such subjects as your company’s background and what distinguishes your company from competitors.
The handbook could also include a welcome letter from the president or CEO, as The Balance Careers acknowledges.
Employees can learn what you expect from them
Personnel Today lists various details the handbook, if well-written, should include on this score – such as how the employee should ask for time off or contact the company in the event of unscheduled absence.
When every copy of the handbook distributed among your company’s workforce includes all of the same details, employees can rest assured that they will all be treated equally, as The Balance Small Business implies.
Employees can look up key company policies
Your company could have a wide range of policies and procedures concerning such subjects as employment, conduct, behavior and compensation.
Company policies and procedures specified in most employee handbooks include the dismissal and disciplinary procedure, the drug and alcohol policy, the equal opportunities policy, the health and safety policy and the redundancy procedure.
With such details at hand, managers can more easily make decisions consistent with those made by other members of your workforce.
Employees can learn what benefits are available to them
Naturally, employee benefits can differ from one company to another – and range from discounts right through to covering the cost of gym memberships. Whatever exactly those benefits are, though, you could document them – along with the eligibility requirements – in the handbook.
The handbook could help to defend your company against employee claims
If an employee brings a legal claim against your company, you could use a copy of the employee handbook – provided it is comprehensive and compliant – to show that your company took “reasonable care” of its employees at the time the claim was made.
You could even ask each employee to sign a statement that they have read the handbook and agreed to abide by its contents – which, as an included disclaimer should clarify, nonetheless don’t constitute a contract, implied or otherwise, with employees.
You can easily update the handbook as and when necessary
That “necessary” could be, for example, when there are changes in the law. Creating new handbooks doesn’t have to be difficult. For the task, you could use one of the easy-to-use booklet makers that are available from Duplo International and would let you achieve a professionally precise result.