There are some tips and ideas you must keep in mind when searching for how to write an employee handbook, these ideas will help you communicate your expectations and demands effectively, similarly, the handbook will define the boundaries, and provide the standards for professional conduct, without infringing on the rights of the employees.
An employee handbook that is well-written will help foster a stronger relationship especially when the rules, procedures and expectations are properly communicated with the employees. It is also important to train the employees on how to refer to the handbook for more clarity. Writing your first handbook for employees can be tricky in the beginning but here are tips to help you out 😉
Make use of the employee handbook as a tool for communication
Communicating notices and legal agreements to your employees can be a difficult task, and for this reason, you must ensure that the company handbook, is designed to include values and expectations that you hope to instill.
You must communicate your business mission, and outline your own expectations as regards how employees must behave (in a simple and well understood language). Do not use bogus grammars when writing the handbook.
Clearly outline the jobs you expect the employees to do, and instruct them to come to you for any question or clarification needed. Make them realize that adopting a positive, proactive and encouraging attitudes are necessary . Make sure your employees can read and absorb the contents of the employee handbook.
The safety and security section
If you are searching for what to include in an employee handbook, you may start with the Safety and Security section, because this is the most important section of any employee handbook.
Most employees quickly take safety issues for granted as time goes on, but this section is very critical, just in case they need to refer to something in cases of emergencies. You must outline the procedures the employees must follow just in case they suffer injuries at work, and demonstrate to them, the necessary plan of actions to take to get out of danger.
Have a legal review
Due to legal issues that may arise in your organization, it is important that you have a legal review when you create your own employee handbook. You need to conduct a legal review before and after you have completed the employee handbook, because you may not be prepared for everything. Do not put yourself in a difficult legal situation with what you wrote inside the handbook; make sure you conduct a review.
Create an outline of code of conduct
After creating the security section of your employee manual, the code of conduct section is the next most important section. Make your policies clear (for instance, you may tell employees to switch of their phones when at work), and make sure you include policies relating to switching from work shifts, taking lunch breaks, and general behaviour at work. This section also involves certain legal considerations.
Compensations and benefits
Your employees definitely want to know their compensations, benefits, bonuses, and wages. You need to outline the dates and times when your employees will be paid, when you are creating the template for the employee handbook. Make sure they known about their legal time offs discounts and holidays.
Make sure the handbook is readable
The best possible ways of making your Guidelines within an employee handbook simple is to make use of shorter paragraphs, bullet points, headings and subheadings. When you break the contents down, they become simpler to read, therefore make sure the contents are properly formatted for the employees to read and follow through.
Always leave some room for change
When you create an employee handbook, for small business, you need to leave room for changes. Always keep in mind that , as your business expand, the way you handle certain things will change, and some contents in the present handbook will also change.
As a business owner, you must keep in mind that change is natural and good and you must be able to adapt to such changes, in order to avoid your employees getting stuck to the old ways of doing things.
You should consider making use of a Time management system such as Workly, to schedule employee handbook adjustments, at least once a year. Scheduling a time to make changes will help you discover errors, and you will get more insights on what needs to be changed or adjusted. Keep in mind that Federal and state laws may also change, therefore you need an employee handbook update to keep up with such changing laws.
Arrange your handbook and check through once again
Now that you have your handbook written, you need to ensure that no critical or essential part is omitted , and the only way you can achieve this is to read through and re-read. You may also solicit the help of a professional to help you read through and help make amendments accordingly. Make sure that all spellings and errors in grammatical structures are corrected immediately, then send the drafted handbook to your employees to raise objections or ask questions , before the final amendments are made.
Track employee’s attention to the employee handbook
It is one thing to handover an employee handbook to employees, but not all of them will pay full attention to instructions and guidelines in such handbook. For this reason you need to include the use of an attendance tracking software such as Workly, to track the number of times, employees refer to the handbook.
The employees must notify you each time they make use of the handbook to resolve all issues at work. Aside from tracking employees’ usage of the handbook, you should also consider using a software like Workly to arrange and notify your staffs about their benefits, holidays, seminars, on-boarding and accruals. Workly is faster and more effective than paperwork such as excel sheet, likewise, it is more reliable.