5 Must-Haves For Your Employee Handbook

By Jeanette Coleman, SPHR & SHRM-SCP on Apr 25, 2018
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5 Must-Haves For Your Employee Handbook

We’ve all done it at one time or another...left something pending on our to-do list we don’t feel is urgent. Before we know it, one week turns into one month! If an employee handbook is that item on your to-do list, we’re here to help. An employee handbook is an important communication tool between you and your employees and is a must-have for your business. All expectations are clearly defined, along with legal obligations as an employer and your employees’ rights. According to the EEOC, a staggering 2,767 discrimination charges were filed in Kansas and Missouri combined during the fiscal year 2017. A lot of these could have in part been avoided if a proper employee handbook had been in place.

Here are the Top Five Sections to Include in Your Handbook.

  1. Company Overview
    Provide a short statement on the history, goals, and culture of your business.
  2. Workplace Commitments
    Emphasize your company’s commitment to equal opportunity employment, non-harassment/non-discrimination, and a drug-free workplace.
  3. Benefits
    Explain rules for vacation, sick leave, and health insurance.
  4. Pay
    Let employees know when and how you will pay them, as well as how they are classified (full-time, part-time, on-call).
    An employee handbook offers employers the opportunity to resell the business to employees. Sections on promotions and raises can show employees how their investment of hard work with the company will pay off down the road.
  5. Employee Conduct at Work
    Outline expectations for employees and describe general rules and regulations.

Employees are best motivated when they know exactly what you expect of them and how they can improve their position in the company.

Also Read: The Quagmire of HR Compliance Can Make or Break Smaller Companies

Acknowledgment of Receipt

This section is an absolute must and should include important disclaimers such as a section acknowledging the handbook doesn’t represent an employment contract and employees recognize they are in an at-will relationship, and a section acknowledging the company’s right to revise or terminate any of the policies in the handbook at any time, for any reason.

Because some states regard an employee handbook as an employment contract, handbooks can sometimes be a detriment to employers who find themselves in court. You can minimize this with precise language and effective disclaimers. A readily available written policy offers managers and employees a better opportunity to avoid misunderstandings that can lead to contentious and possibly litigious situations.

A well-crafted employee handbook sets the foundation for strong employee relations throughout the organization. It’s a must-have in your HR toolkit. Once you have your employee handbook, be sure to review it and update it every one-to-two years.

Still, feel overwhelmed or just want to leave it to professionals? Axcet HR Solutions’ team of skilled human resources consultants is experienced in employee relations, including employee handbook creation and updates. To learn more and contact us today.

Download our FREE report on employee handbooks now.

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