To create a strong relationship with your employees, it is vital that you come up with a well-written employee handbook. You will be initiating a line of communication with your employees firsthand and will be ensuring that everyone has the correct knowledge of the various processes, rules and expectations from the start itself.
An employee handbook will be your excellent resource to make the new joinees aware of the ways and traditions of the organisation. But writing an employee book can prove to be a difficult task if you have never done it before.
To make this task easy, we have compiled some tips that will help you write an effective employee handbook!
Make your handbook the communication tool
The employee handbook can be full of notices and legal agreements which might prove to be a daunting task. So, ensure that you are including the right expectations and give an explanation about the business purpose, employee behaviour expectations and workplace communications.
Write in a simple and clear language that this handbook acts as a guide for them to understand their responsibilities and should they have any doubts they should contact you directly.
Ensure that you are writing the employee handbook, in the same manner you expect your employees to behave at the workplace: encouraging, positive and proactive. Make sure that there are no jargons in the language and it is easy to understand.
Security and safety
This is the most sought after section by seasoned employees as they have worked in the organisation for a long time and they have an idea of everything mentioned in the handbook.
A lot of times security and safety are the issues that are taken for granted. To make sure it does not happen in your company, documenting these procedures is an excellent idea so one has knowledge of the procedures should an emergency arise.
State in a clear language that employee security and safety is your priority. Mention the actions that should be taken if an employee gets injured at work in the event of a criminal record, drug and alcohol intolerances, robbery or flooding.
This is your opportunity to show that you have a strategy ready (if you don’t have one, make one) as well as a chance to show your employees that you care about their personal safety when they’re at work.
Get a legal review
From a legal point of view, an employee handbook is a crucial document, and if you think that you may not face any legal issues with employees working for you on the hourly basis, you will have to be extra careful.
After you are done writing your employee handbook, make sure that you are getting it legally reviewed, so you don’t find yourself in a tricky situation with your wording, language and sections that address legal issues.
State the code of conduct/ behaviour expectations
You should mention not only the legal expectations but also your company policies. If you want your employees to avoid the cell phone while they are working, state it clearly.
Ensure you are stating clear policies about work shifts, lunch and tea breaks, behaviours at work, overtime work procedures and so on. Here you have an opportunity to clearly state what you want from your employees by leaving no room for doubts. You can also use this section as a reference when you have to enforce these expectations.
In the future, if you find yourself in a difficult legal situation, this handbook stands as a solid document to protect you and your company from accusations.
Leave space for future changes
As your business reaches new heights, the way you conduct business will also change and so will the work policies for employees. So, after you are done writing the employee handbook, leave room for changes to be made in rules and policies.
You may have to make changes in it once a year or more depending on the progress rate of your company. Use this as an opportunity to reevaluate your handbook by updating procedures and rules that don’t seem valid.
Also, don’t forget to get employees’ insight on what changes are needed as they are the ones working according to that handbook.
Make sure that the employee handbook is provided to each employee at the time of joining and familiarise them with the policies and traditions of your company.
And while you are at it, give them your company’s cap, T-shirt and promotional pens that makes them feel like a part of your organisation.