Hallmarks of a Robust Employee Handbook

July 05, 2015 | Evelyn Chow

1. Describe Your Corporate Values and Culture

The most effective handbooks accurately reflect a company’s corporate values and culture. By describing your company’s mission and values, it can be used as a platform to help establish authentic corporate culture and encourage loyalty to the employer brand.

2. State Your HR Policies

Stating policies in your handbook, gives you a measure of legal protection in the event that an employee sues you for wrongful termination, harassment or illegal discrimination. Giving employees clear guidelines, clears up confusion and avoids conflict down the line. Furthermore they create a structured work environment and help build company loyalty.

3. Specify Employee Conduct

Make sure you have thought out your expectations for how employees should conduct themselves in your workplace. General working policies, such as dress codes, standards of conduct, confidentiality, business expense reimbursement and discipline should be included in your handbook.

4. Explain the Benefits

Your company’s handbook should detail all benefit programs and eligibility requirements, including all benefits that may be required by law. It should also detail any programs or fringe benefits your business provides to attract and retain employees.

5. Create a Reader-Friendly & Great Looking Handbook

Use simple and clear language as far as possible. Employees should find the handbook easy to read and understand, and not be baffled by confusing terminologies. And it certainly helps to have a great looking handbook (hint: cool visuals + videos really make a difference)!

6. Cover your legal bases

It is important to include a disclaimer that clearly states that the handbook is not a contract of employment. This will prevent terminated employees from suing you for a breach of contract at a later date.

7. Include An Employee Acknowledgement Page

To protect your business, it’s a good practice to require all employees to acknowledge with a signed document that they have received and read the handbook. The acknowledgement page should state that the employee understands it is their responsibility to read and follow the polices stated in the handbook and they recognize that all contents in the handbook are subject to change.

8. Have a Lawyer Review Your Handbook

Lastly, to protect your company from any potential legal trouble, engage an experienced lawyer to review your handbook. The investment is worth your peace of mind!

Here at DecodeHR...

It may be challenging to design your employee handbook from scratch, but fret not, we are here to help. Here at DecodeHR, we have the experience and expertise needed to assist you in designing an awesome employee handbook according to the needs of your organization.  

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