What Employee Handbook Topics Should You Cover?

Before getting down to writing an employee handbook, HR professionals need to understand what they should include by law. The HR Digest has curated a list of employee handbook topics that’ll come in handy when you set up the organization’s human resources policies.

According to research from GuideSpark, 43% of gen Y are not reading the majority of the employee handbook, while 11% of gen Y haven’t even opened an employee handbook. If you want to protect your company from potential liability and lawsuits, then it is important that the employee handbook is read by all your employees. By clearly setting out company policies, the handbook can promote a safe, productive and positive work environment – ​​and one free from improper or harmful conduct.

An image of an employee handbook.

Depending on where your company is located, you should have a set of legally required employee handbook topics that’ll act as a useful resource. You may also consult with your attorney to see what kind of information you could cover in the staff handbook.

What is an employee handbook?

An employee manual or handbook is a document that employees receive upon joining your company. It outlines the policies and procedures employees should follow while working for you. It also includes information about benefits, vacation time, sick leave, and other important information. A staff handbook is an important tool for employers because it helps you communicate with your employees on issues that are important to them, and it makes them aware of what will happen if they break a rule or policy.

Employee Handbook Topics Required By Law

The HR policies offered by The HR Digest reflect the latest state and federal compliance guidelines. These employee handbook topics will act as the first line of defense in case of legal claims. Last of all, it works as a cohesive document listing key job-related information such as policies, working conditions, and behavioral expectations that guide employee behavior in a particular situation.

1. An introduction: This explains why an employee needs a handbook and what it’s for. You should give a brief rundown on everything that is contained in the handbook.

2. Company mission statement: Your company’s mission statement is an important part of its identity, so it should be included in the HR handbook. It’s also a great opportunity to let employees know how much you value their contributions to the company as well as how important their work is for achieving this mission.

3. Company values: A company’s values ​​are also an important part of its identity and should be reflected in its employee handbook. It should have a list of the company’s core values, so employees know what they’re working towards. Employees want to work for companies with values ​​that align with theirs; if yours don’t match up, then you may find yourself struggling with employee retention issues down the road.

4. Termination policy: If an employee does not meet expectations or violates company policy, then they may need to be terminated from employment at some point during their tenure with your organization. This should be communicated in the staff handbook.

5. Rights of employees (including how they can file complaints): This section of your staff handbook should talk about how inclusive your company’s culture is and how employees are free to make complaints.

6. Procedures for disciplinary actions (such as warnings and terminations): Another section that should be in your employee policy handbook is the list of offenses and the disciplinary actions that follow. They should be clearly stated and easy to understand. It’s important that you properly explain in terms of the offenses so your employees can have a clear understanding of what is and isn’t expected. The section should also include how to report violations and what happens when someone breaks the policy.

7. Pay rates, benefits, and policies on time off, paid holidays, and other work-related issues: The employee manual should have a clear explanation of vacation and sick time policies, so there are no surprises when they’re out on leave. It should also provide clear information about benefits like health care coverage and paid time off.

8. Performance evaluation process and criteria: The HR manual should also explain how performance review is carried out and also highlight how promotions and pay raises will be given and the criteria for them.

A well-defined employee handbook helps companies in stating clear expectations from employees and also gives a realistic view of what employees can expect from them.

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