An employee handbook or employee manual is a booklet that contains information on an organization’s policies and procedures. It is an excellent resource that presents all the information which employees need to know about their work and workplace. Thus, it facilitates the smooth functioning of a workplace.
There are several reasons why an employee handbook should be in use. Some of them are as follows:
- Employee manuals bring in uniformity across the organization. They set guidelines for everyone to follow and categorically state the consequences of violating these rules. Employee manuals inform employees of statutory laws regarding workplace behavior with colleagues and the management. Thus, they help prevent workplace conflicts and legal disputes.
- With a well-planned and written handbook, you can save your managers’ time. They need not explain the same policies every time a new employee joins or answer the same questions over and again.
- Employee manuals publish information on an organization’s policies about holidays, leave, work hours, overtime work and pay procedure, dress code, performance reviews, salary or pay revisions and recreational breaks. They present information on orientation and training policies and termination or relieving procedures. This helps employees know a lot about the kind of treatment they can expect in the organization, thus, building their confidence.
- Employee handbooks help communicate to the employees about the Company’s expectations of them. You can convey performance parameters and benefits that employees receive on reaching those parameters. Policies about promotion or demotion should be included. This will help them gain clarity on their job responsibilities and reduce the start-up time.
- Employee handbooks present the organization’s policies on using the Company’s as well as personal gadgets and other equipment within its premises. Some organizations have restrictions on the use of information and communication devices, most importantly, mobile phones. Handbooks should include the terms and conditions for the use of these devices and the sites the employees are not expected to visit etc.
- Employee handbooks publish the Company’s policies on employee safety measures and procedures to handle occupational accidents or hazards.
Precautions to be taken while preparing employee handbooks
Employee handbooks should be written in simple and precise language. Avoid flowery language. Besides, there should not be much legal jargon or it will confuse the employees.
Since employee handbooks are an effective means to protect an organization from potential lawsuits, they should be kept updated. This is because laws change. Accordingly, you need to modify your policies and publish them in your handbook.
You need to plan in advance how you are going to deal with issues that are not included in the handbook. Sometimes, certain incidents or complications arise which were not thought of while preparing handbook. In such circumstances, you should not find yourself baffled. For that, you need to specify that the policies and procedures are subject to change from time to time.
Thus, appropriate care should be taken to see that the handbook presents your organization in a positive light.
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