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What does an effective employee handbook include?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2022 | Employment Law |

As an employer, you need to effectively communicate certain information to your employees. Employee handbooks are a popular means of making the information that your business provides to its workers consistent and easy to reference in the future.

Although there are certainly fill-in-the-blank, generic examples of employee handbooks on the internet, businesses will benefit the most from a custom-written handbook focusing on their companies’ unique culture and operations.

What should you include in your employee handbook when you sit down to create this crucial document?

Basic information about employment rights

There is certain information you generally have to disclose to your employees, including information about workers’ compensation, Family and Medical Leave Act requests and anti-discrimination laws.

Including information about not just federal employment rules but also your company’s practices regarding these issues, such as its zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination in the workplace, will help your business comply with federal employment laws. Instructions on how to file a leave request or a complaint about harassment can also be good inclusions.

Information on pay and benefits

How do workers use their paid time off? Does your company have to review and approve requests? How many hours does a worker a crew based on seniority? Do you offer company-sponsored insurance packages? Do employees sometimes qualify for bonuses?

Being explicit about these company practices and policies will avoid confusion that could lead to complaints of litigation brought by your workers.

Workplace rules and employee expectations

Ensuring all staff members know the rules is crucial for the maintenance of a safe work environment. Companies can include rules about everything from mobile phone use while driving company vehicles to dress code expectations for their staff members. Internet policies, explanations about the system your company will use for discipline and the standards for performance reviews are all also important inclusions that help clarify what you expect from your workers.

Generally, companies also include clauses that discuss important details, like the fact that the handbook is not a contract and that the policy is within it are subject to change at any time. Including the right information in your employee handbook can help protect your company and set your employees up for success.