Drafting Employee Friendly and Compliant Employee Handbooks
By Christine Thelen, Director of HR Services, Trüpp.
If you have an employee, you should have an employee handbook. An employee handbook sets expectations regarding company policy, acts as a resource and guide for managers, and ultimately, when well written, reduces employer risk. But how do you ensure that your employee handbook is engaging and relevant enough to be helpful to employees, while still including the language necessary to protect your company?
If you have ever tried to draft an employee handbook, you know that this is a difficult task. Given the role an employee handbook plays in risk management as well as helping employees understand an organization’s culture and expectations, it is important that it be composed carefully and tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Most people will not be able to draft an employee handbook from scratch, and simply copy one from the internet or another employer, but doing so can introduce out of date content, create unnecessary obligations and liabilities, or result in an employer neglecting relevant policies. Buying a template will ensure the basics are covered, but will require adding and revising policies to meet the specific needs of your industry, location, and company. Contracting a reliable professional to craft a custom employee handbook, while sometimes more costly, remains your safest option. In the long run, the cost is far outweighed by the associated risk introduced by a poorly crafted, cumbersome, or incomplete handbook.
Following are 5 key elements of an effective Employee Handbook.