Employee Handbooks: 7 Essential Components

Marie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

A well-written employee handbook is a necessity for every employer.  It allows employers to explicitly outline the policies and expectations of the workplace.  Jules Halpern of Halpern Advisors lists the reasons why employee handbooks are so crucial:

  1.  It complies with the law.  An employee handbook demonstrates that your organization complies with federal, state and local laws.
  2. It outlines the compensation, benefits and time off policies.  By informing employees of procedures, it avoids potential problems.  Your handbook can provide a listing of benefits provided and which employees are eligible for those benefits.  It must outline time off and leave policies.
  3. It protects employers from employee claims.  Employers can protect themselves from employment-related claims by clearly setting forth expectations in the handbook.
  4. It protects employers from sexual harassment claims.  A well-drafted anti-harassment policy forbids all instances of harassment in the workplace.  By keeping the policy up-to-date, employers provide themselves valuable legal protection against claims.
  5. It introduces organization values.  The employee handbook is the first introduction an employee receives as to a company’s culture.  It should include an introduction section which explains the history of the organization and its ‘mission statement.’
  6. It gives employers information on where to go for help.  A handbook should be an employee’s primary source of information when they have a question.  It should also provide them with a procedure on who to turn to when they have further questions or issues.
  7. It contains an employee acknowledgment form.  In order to get the legal protections above, employees must sign an acknowledgment form stating that they understand and will comply with the policies in the handbook.
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