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Nov 14
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8 Tips to Write an Employee Handbook

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November 14, 2014

Having a clear and concise employee handbook is important for any business. It’s not only important to help set expectations with employees, but is also an important document to have in case any legal disputes arise with your employees. To help ensure success for employee handbook creation, follow these eight simple design steps. Once its developed, you should also follow best practices in terms of distributing and tracking the handbook distribution.

Use the Handbook to Communicate Key Aspects of your Business With Your Employees

Your handbook must include expectations and values. You should explain the purpose of your business and key details about your expectations, in addition to explaining how each employee should communicate and behave in various workplace situations.

All of the language in the handbook should be clear and easy to follow. It should also lay out not only how to act in specific situations, but also provide guidance on what to do in case the employee is unsure on how to handle a situation that arises.

Security and Safety

A great handbook has basic steps that an employee should take if an injury occurs on the job. Other situations are also covered, such as drug and alcohol intolerances, robbery, severe weather, or fires. To keep everyone safe, you must design an effective plan of action for each scenario.

Legal Review

After completion of the employee handbook, ask for a review by a legal expert. If you use the wrong wording, leave out important clauses, etc – , you may have to deal with costly legal issues later on.

Code of Conduct and Expectations Should Be Outlined

When you make your company policies, outline them in your handbook and enforce them. Policies for shift changes and lunch breaks should also be outlined if they are relevant for your business.

Compensation, Hours, and Benefits

Details about when your employees are paid should be clearly outlined in your handbook. Cover any benefits that you may offer and any discounts that you provide.

Don’t Reiterate

During the hiring process, your employees will have to fill out numerous forms before they read your handbook, so don’t reiterate all of the information that is found in your legal documents. Instead, reference these documents in your handbook.

Your Handbook Should Be Readable

Include bullet points and various headings in the handbook. If you format your handbook properly, it will be easier to read. If the handbook is too wordy or not properly formatted, your employees may not read your handbook thoroughly.

Leave Room for Changes

Your business will grow over time, meaning that business policies and procedures must change as well. Each year, review your handbook and update any procedures that are no longer needed.

Best Practices Regarding Handbook Distribution

Once your handbook is completed, employees need to receive the handbook. Many companies provide either a hard copy version or a link to an online version. However, many employees simply will not read these versions. A best practice is to use a tool that can track whether an employee has received the handbook and whether the employee has opened it. While you can’t guarantee that employees will actually read the handbook you can adopt processes that track whether the employee has at least opened the handbook and attested that they have read it. Taking these precautions will give you the information you need in case a legal situation arises where it is important to prove that an employee has reviewed the handbook.

Jakoba Software can help your company achieve immeasurable, long-lasting results for enriched business and employee proficiency. Jakoba’s SnapDocTracker solution is a cloud-based corporate policy management tool that helps organizations track when an employee has reviewed and attested to a particular document they have been given. This system is extremely useful in disseminating employee handbooks to employees.

Contact us today to find out how we can help your organization get the most out of its employees.

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