What do I need to include in my employee handbook?
With evolving HR compliance topics and employee demands constantly evolving, having an employee handbook is as important as ever. Not only should a business have an employee handbook, it is important to include as much information as possible. So, you are probably asking, “What do I need to include in my employee handbook?” Let’s take a look.
What is an employee handbook?
Before we outline what should be in an employee handbook, we must know what an employee handbook is. An employee handbook is a comprehensive guide detailing all your company’s policies and procedures. Your handbook will be a guide your employees can refer to when questions or situations arise. Furthermore, your handbook will also protect your business from compliance issues or potential legal action.
What should be included in an employee handbook?
There are many topics that need to be covered in your handbook. While all of the following items should be in your handbook, you may choose to include additional items as well.
Typically, the owner of the company will start off with a welcome letter to the employees. This letter can help establish a connection between the owner, the employees, and the business itself.
New Hire Onboarding Process
Next, it is important to layout the onboarding process and what your new employees can expect moving forward. This can include details about your probationary period, employment at-will statement, company assets they are required to have, information on parking, etc.
From there, many businesses will include a section about the company in their handbook. This will provide employees with your company’s history, its’ values, goals, culture, expectations. Do not forget to put your mission statement in this section as well.
Now it is time to move into your company’s policies. This will be the meat of the handbook. In this section, cover things such as:
- Hours of operation
- Attendance policy
- Dress code
- Cell phone policy
- Smoking policy
- Paid time off policy
- Company benefits (retirement, insurance, etc)
- Performance standard requirements
- Remote work and/or flexible schedule policies
- Promotions and compensation
- Discipline and termination policy
Another important section in an employee handbook outlines your business’ legal responsibilities. This will outline both the rights of your business and your employees. Detail requirements such as FMLA, PFML (if applicable in your state), workers’ compensation, non-discrimination policy, disability, etc.
Finally, wrap up your employee handbook with a section that your employees will sign. This will state that they have read and understand the policies and rights outlined within the handbook. This is key in protecting your business against potential legal action from a current or previous employee.