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Employee Handbook

Creating an Employee Handbook: What HR Policies to Include

All companies should have a handbook to outline organizational policies and provide staff members answers to common questions. From an organization’s perspective, having a handbook prevents conflict and other problems from arising. Any conflict between staff members is resolved using the policies of the handbook. In addition to managing internal conflicts within the company, employee handbooks also provide legal protection. So what does the employee handbook contain? Let’s take a closer look:

The Purpose

Employee handbooks should begin by stating the purpose of the document. It should ask employees to familiarize themselves with all the policies and procedures listed in the handbook. Any queries that aren’t covered in the handbook should be taken to the line manager or HR personnel.

Company Description, History, And Culture

To get all employees on the same the page, companies can choose to mention long-term goals along with its philosophy in a section of its handbook. Companies that have been around for a while can also discuss their history to give employees an idea of how it all began.

Conduct Policy

By far the most important part of an employee handbook is conduct policy. This is what prevents problems from emerging amongst employees. Conduct policy clearly defines what is and isn’t appropriate for the workplace. It also outlines the procedures that need to be followed if a problem does arise. The following are the essential policies that make up the crux of the handbook:

  • Sexual harassment policy: This will list the type of inappropriate actions and language the company deems unacceptable.
  • Anti-discrimination policy: Establish your organization as an inclusive space that gives everyone equal opportunities.
  • Drug, alcohol, and smoking policy: Clearly state the consequences of showing up to work when under the influence.
  • Company property policy: If you issue equipment and supplies to employees, tell them exactly how they are supposed to be used. You will also have to tell them to not misuse company property in any way.
  • Social media policy: Companies have the right to tell their staff members about how to behave on social media. They can list behaviors that will not be tolerated.
  • Attendance policy: The handbook will explain how attendance is managed by the company.
  • Dress code: Most companies in the USA have some form of dress code that instructs employees on how to dress. Defining dress code becomes even more important for organizations that have legal obligations to dress a certain way.

Depending on the size of your organization and the nature of your business, your employee handbook can also contain sections on expense policy, compensation, and benefits policy, leaves, employee accommodation, and employee referral programs. Struggling to develop a handbook? HR Business Partners in Minneapolis offers comprehensive human resources services such as development of employee handbooks, management of compliance packages and even setting up an HR department for organizations. Contact us for more information.