Why Have an Employee Manual?

1) Introduces employees to the organization’s culture, mission and vision.

  • Fosters a sense of pride
  • Answers questions about policies and procedures

2) Communicates to employees what is expected of them.

  • Clear understanding of their responsibilities
  • Advises employees what the procedures are for various policies.
  • Tells employees who to go to for answers to questions.
  • Communicates general responsibilities for employees.

3) Educates employees about what they can expect from management/leadership.

  • Shows best practices
  • Outlines logistics like timekeeping requirements, work hours, etc.
  • Outlines employee’s entitlements to federal and state laws.
  • Eliminates confusion an inconsistencies that result when handbooks are silent on certain topics.

4) Helps ensure key company policies are clearly and consistently communicated.

  • Unless practiced consistently, policies are not effective.
  • Managers can refer to the handbook when answering questions or making decisions regarding policies and ensure their answers and actions are consistent.

5) Showcases the benefits you offer.

  • A great explanation of benefits offered helps to retain your employees
  • Understand what is offered and how they become eligible.

6) Ensures compliance with federal and state laws.

  • Every business is subject to several laws depending on the number of employees are employed.
  • Communicating these laws shows that your organization strives to be compliant with the laws. Ex. Military Leave, FMLA

7) Helps defend against employee claims.

  • It is not if you will get a claim, but when.
  • A thorough and compliant employee handbook will help to show that the organization exercised “reasonable care” towards its employees.
  • The signed acknowledgement page shows that your employees received the handbook and had an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the organization’s policies. They agreed to follow the terms and conditions listed in the handbook.

8) Lets employees know where to turn for help.

  • You want employees to feel comfortable about who to go to when they need to report things like workplace violations, harassment.
  • You don’t want them to have to go to the EEOC or DOL for answers. That generally will trigger an investigation that is both costly and time-consuming.
Carol Kardas
With 25+ years of generalist HR experience, Carol’s focus includes compensation, training, and employee relations. She has advanced HR certifications: SPHR, CCP, SHRM-SCP.

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