An employee policy handbook is a book that contains all information about the employees in the organization, including its culture, policies, and procedures. It is an effective tool for establishing workplace policies. It has become a necessity for effective management of the workplace. It provides information about the history, mission, values, and beliefs in a written format. It is an easily accessible guide to the company’s policies and an overview of the management. Disputes that arise in the firm are permanently settled in light of these policies. Therefore employees must provide a written acknowledgment of the receipt and acceptance of employee policies. It is more like governing laws of the firm. Most of the employee policies have legal obligations as well. Note that the employee policy handbook by no means is an employee agreement. The acceptance o the employee policy handbook does not mean that the employee is bound to remain in employment. It should in no manner affect the employment-at-will status of an employee.
Creating an employee policy handbook is a tedious task. Starting from understanding the requirements of each firm, the environment, its functions, the mindset of its employees, the vision and mission of the firm, and the legal implications. Then drafting the policies and finally put them into words. Many brands have come up with HR Toolkits that provide ready-to-use customizable templates. One needs to purchase these toolkits that offer ready-made templates for almost all HR-related documents. So now, what is the purpose of an employee policy handbook?
- Clearly Defined Policies
The firm must lay down its policies to have an employee policy handbook. Having them all in one place helps to get it formalized and in order.
An employee policy applies to all employees, irrespective of status. This promotes equality and instills confidence in the employees that the firm is treating them unbiasedly.
An employee handbook is a one-stop solution for all employees’ queries. Employees can look for answers themselves rather than coming to the management. This saves the time of both the employee and the employer.
- Prevents Disputes
Any dispute arising within the organization is solved the in the light of employee policies. It is a sort of legal protection that protects the company against legal disputes arising out of employment.
Employee policy documents must necessarily include these policies.
- Code Of Conduct
A code o conduct is what an employee has to look into when it comes to compliance. It defines the company culture. It should include the
- Work Ethics
- Leave Policy
- Safety Policy
- Dress Code Policy
It should define the firm’s expectations concerning these policies and the consequences of not meeting the expectations.
- Communications Policy
In today’s work environment, communication policy is of at most importance. Communication, unlike in the earlier days, is free-flowing. Both employer and employee have the right to express what they feel. Therefore, it should cover all manners in which information is shared among the organization members. Furthermore, it should clearly state where employees can find information.
- Non Discrimination Policy
Non Discrimination policy declares that the firm will not tolerate discrimination. It is a guarantee that the management will not show any discrimination nor will it stand it from any employee. Discrimination is not permissible legally, and the law offers protection against discrimination based on factors not directly related to work, like age, race, religion, etc.
- Compensation And Benefits Policy
The employee policy should also state the benefits discussed during the interview process. It is like sealing the promise made by the employer. Not every employee remembers the benefits promised to them before joining the firm. The handbook should be like a reminder. Moreover, every employee sees it in the handbook as a sense of motivation. Business is subject to several unforeseen circumstances. Things might not always be the same. A clause that states that the firm revises the benefits should always be included.
- Recruitment and Termination Policy
Clearly state what an employee joining or leaving the organization can expect from their employment—eligibility criteria, bond period, probation period, notice period, etc.
- Acknowledgment of receipt
Acknowledgment of the policies is crucial. Therefore, the employees should declare their acceptance of the policies in writing—both the employer and employee should keep a copy of the acknowledgment and handbook. It is the strongest defense in any dispute between both parties. The handbook should also highlight what the employees should do if they notice or experience a policy violation.
An employee handbook is a manual of information. It guides the employee in how to function in an organization. The handbook should not be too lengthy, and the organization cannot assume that the employees read the handbook page to page. Therefore, try to keep it short and crisp. These days ready templates are available in HR Toolkits, making it easy and time-saving for management. Besides, it provides broad coverage.