Here’s a look at the policies you’ll want to cover: Woohoo! ), it’s one of the most important tools to set your business up for success. Creating an employee handbook, or employee manual, allows you to reinforce workplace policies and employee guidelines. Bring new employees into the fold by sharing this history with them. We decided the best companies to work for would be a good place to start. Please use these samples as guides for developing the policies and content of your own employee handbook. Meal and rest breaks 6. This will include topics employees care about, such as: 1. After a welcome and introduction from your president or CEO, begin with general employment information. Some of this may seem like common sense, but it can still be helpful to spell it all out in your employee manual. Confidentiality agreement 5. The handbook lays out expectations about everything from the dress code to employee benefits to conduct policy. Employees receive more than just a paycheck every month from your organization. It includes the 50+ sections recommended here and sample text) Overtime pay 5. Learn what you should include in your employee manual. Replies to my comments Safety and security procedures 9. A critical component of your employee handbook is the general information about being employed with your company. Now back to business: here are the main policies you’ll want to record in that employee handbook: One of the top motivations for businesses to create an employee handbook is to train new hires. By jencarsen Jul 5, 2011 HR Management & Compliance. Treasury guidelines changed. And last, don’t forget to share who you are and why you’re here! Need help with PPP? Describe your company’s history, from the day you were founded, by whom, and why. Include an introduction that tells employees why they should read the handbook. This section of your employee handbook explains how, when, and where employees are expected to get things done. Need a Sample Employee Handbook Introduction? Third, the handbook should certainly include any workplace notices or policies that are required by law, such as those related to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA),Consolidated... Read more about Employee Handbooks General details, such as directions to the office, team structure, and key contact info When someone’s finished reading this section, they should feel knowledgeable and well taken care of. What should you include in an employee handbook? Consider including a policy on appropriate social media use. While the task of creating or updating an employee handbook might seem daunting for a small business (really, who has the time? The employee handbook serves several purposes. This article will help you fix that. (Okay, this isn’t really a policy, but it’s still important). Equal employment opportunity statement 3. Even the most free-flowing organization has boundaries. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. You undermine your employee handbook if a manager shows favoritism. Provide a consistent message for your employees 4. A hierarchy chart. Most employee handbooks include information on: Company culture, values, and a mission statement Human resource and legal information as well as rights and obligations related to employment Realistic expectations; both what the company expects to see from its employees and what employees can expect from the company Quick note: This is not to be taken as legal or HR advice. Resignation and termination procedures Keep in mind that some of this material, such as overtime pay r… This is a manual that details the company’s rules, policies, and what’s expected of the employee (and vice versa). Second, the handbook may define or summarize the legal relationship between the employer and the employee. Sample Employee Handbook. It should also outline your company's mission, vision and core values. But, many organizations have employee handbooks that don’t resonate with employees and fail to communicate the critical messages that influence employee behavior. Introduction and welcome statement. When we started our research on employee handbooks, we asked: What kind of companies would have exemplary handbooks we could really learn from? Set the tone for your organization 2. SICK DAYS. Employee Handbook Examples: The Deep Dive. The employee onboarding section may include your: If there isn’t an agreement clearly stated in your employee handbook, then this type of employment is assumed in all states besides the Treasure State (also known as Montana). Even if some of the new policies are temporary in nature, it's still a good idea to update your written employee guidelines in the short term so that employees are aware of their rights and expectations. Hiring policies 2. Though 87% of small businesses sized 10-200 have employee handbooks, HR experts agree that it’s best practice to start a handbook as soon as you hire your first employee, as it defines expectations and can protect you legally. Open with a quick-reference section that outlines details such as which types of workers are eligible, when benefits kick in, and your plan’s policy number. What Contents Are Recommended for an Employee Handbook? The kind of information you include will depend greatly on the size of your company, the industry you specialise in, and the tone or style you use to … Every business should follow a set of rules and procedures to keep operations running smoothly. Your code of conduct section should spell out the “10 Commandments” for life as a member of your team. This sample table of contents also covers pay, performance expectations, and legal issues. Here are the policies, procedures, benefits, expectations of the employment relationship, professional behavioral expectations, and more that are often found in an employee handbook. It contains a few unsound workplace policies—can you spot them all? It should educate employees about the company’s mission and vision, explain workplace policies and procedures, lay out expectations and strategic goals, and include information about culture and leadership. Add your company’s mission statement and company culture. It is important that every employee handbook include a policy regarding equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination. We’re here for you. Then, start with the essentials and work your way up to the icing-on-the-cake benefits: It happens: Sometimes you just need to part ways. 2. The purpose of an employee handbook is to educate new employees about working in your organization. If you want to have a great employee handbook, the one that your employees will really read, then your employee handbook should include more than just boring company’s policies. An employee handbook can help protect the organisation if a dispute is put forward by an employee. Your company has provided extra benefits for its employees to keep them coming back to work. Leaves of absence 7. This section of your employee handbook should explain what happens when someone quits or, Though 87% of small businesses sized 10-200 have employee handbooks, 10 of the Most Common Employee 401(k) Questions, Answered, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) benefits, How to Get Your Employees to Actually Respond to Surveys, Planning a Team Offsite? An employee handbook is a valuable document that provides clarity on company policies. Most states, Massachusetts included, have an at-will work policy, which means that companies and employees can separate from one another at any time. Give every policy careful consideration and take time to make your employee handbook shine. While your employee handbook will be undoubtedly unique and particular to your culture and company values, we've created a sample employee handbook to help get you started. From your original vision to how your company came into being, your company’s story is the underlying foundation that inspires people to show up and do amazing things every single day. What Contents Are Recommended for an Employee Handbook? Learn about Gusto’s HR services. Want to Know the Best Practices for Employee Personnel Files? Your employee handbook is a manual of information that your employees need to function within your organization. When additional resources are available on the site about a particular employee handbook item, click the links to find additional articles, policies, checklists, and forms here for central interest. What You Need to Know About Firing an Employee, Use a Receipt Acknowledgment When Employees Get a New Policy, Use These Samples to Write a Formal Employee Reprimand Letter, How to Reduce the Employer's Liability at Holiday Parties. Specifically, those that define interactions between management, employees, and company. You can also subscribe without commenting. By including this information in your handbook, you create both a new level of clarity and a new level of accountability for employees. Summarize rules and policies that affect your company culture 3. The employee handbook should include policies that comply with these standards (and applicable state wage and hour standards), as well as provide information for employees based on classification as either exempt or non-exempt, pay frequency, performance reviews, salary increases, and bonuses (if offered). The Employee's Signature: Give each new employee a copy of the handbook at hire, have the employee read and then sign that he/she understands the contents of the handbook. Provide an overview of your business and layout basic policies 6. until January 1st. A good handbook will: 1. This means that either party can end the relationship at any point for any reason, with or without notice.”. However, many of these sections are too personal and legally sensitive to include … The employee handbook can also include a section on when it is appropriate to use personal cell phones and make personal phone calls. This clearly maps out who’s who, starting from the top to the very bottom. Make sure you talk about why your company matters, and why your new hire should be excited now that they are apart of it. All Conflict of interest statement 4. What to include in an employee handbook An effective employee handbook includes: Your company’s mission, vision and an overview of its culture. Reduces time wasted by management addressing questions about policy. Yesterday, we began our list of the top 10 employee handbook drafting pitfalls to avoid, courtesy of the law firm of Lehr Middlebrooks & Vreeland, PC. Employee handbooks put your policies in writing and outline expectations for your employees. Want to Know What Goes Into an Employee Handbook Table of Contents? Workplace Professionalism and Company Representation, Use These Sample HR Policies and Procedures for Employee Management, A Look at the Purpose and Benefit of Having an Employee Handbook, Sample Employee Handbook Acknowledgement of Receipt, The Guidelines for Employee Handbooks and Why They Are Needed, Sample Weapons Policy to Put in an Employee Handbook, The Importance of Documentation in Human Resources, Essential Elements of an Employee Personnel File. That’s a … If there’s anything that’s frowned upon, this section should cover it. Notify me of follow-up replies to my comment via e-mail. 3. See what we’re building for small businesses at, General details, such as directions to the office, team structure, and key contact info, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations, It happens: Sometimes you just need to part ways. Plus, it gives your employees the clarity they need to know how things work. The site is read by a world-wide audience and ​employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. So kick things off by laying out the basics that every employee should know before the shimmy through the front door. If only some employees are eligible for a certain type of leave, disclose that in the handbook. Review your employee handbook to make sure your policies are equitable. (Or, skip ahead and download the Employee Handbook Template. The 4 Things You Should Never Put in an Employee Handbook. You’ll want to include hot topics like: How does your team interact with each other? Guidelines for employee conduct. Payment schedule (and payment methods available) 3. This section may include your: 1. This table of contents and the linked policies, articles, and other material may not be reprinted online or used for publication without written permission from the author. Home; Payroll; 11 Things to Include in Employee Handbooks. Here are the policies, procedures, benefits, expectations of the employment relationship, professional behavioral expectations, and more that are often found in an employee handbook. Don't subscribe Set out your expectations for channels like: Not to downplay other critical policies, but the next two sections are ones your employees will likely flip back to frequently. This section of your employee handbook should explain what happens when someone quits or gets terminated. Here’s an example of a sample at-will clause you can use as a model: “Keep in mind that [your company] is an at-will employer. Your employee handbook should contain equitable policies. Talk Shop  Starting a Business • Hiring and Growth • Finances and Taxes • Team Management, Gusto.com  Payroll • HR • Benefits and more. Formalize Polices, Even Temporary Ones. The employee handbook (and the newer, cooler “culture code”) is a great tool for employees, new and existing, to learn the company’s mission, values and norms. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance. Performance review procedures 8. Though you’re not required by law to have an employee handbook, recording key policies can protect your business. What to Include in Your Employee Handbook How you choose to structure the contents of your employee handbook is entirely up to you. Equal opportunity statement and anti-harassment statement While this won't prevent employee problems, it might help if an employee brings a lawsuit against you, saying they "didn't know" their behavior could get them fired. At-will employment clause 2. One of the top motivations for businesses to create an employee handbook is to train new hires. But it really shouldn’t. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the most common employee policies businesses include in their handbooks. How to Confirm a Person's Employment Status, Employee and Employer Confidentiality Agreement, Employment Relationship: At-Will Employment, Accommodation for People With Disabilities, Harassment and Discrimination Reporting Procedure, Accepting and Giving Entertainment or Gifts, Email, Computer, Voicemail, Internet, and Telephone Usage, Performance Development Planning and Feedback Process, Employee Signoff Signifying Receipt of the Handbook, the At-Will Statement, and, Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSAs). In any instance, there are a number of key elements to be included in an Employee Handbook. Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. Make It a Success with These 8 Pro Tips. If your state is the same, state it in your handbook so you get the protection this policy affords. An employee handbook should include your business’s policies, your expectations of your employees, and what your employees can expect from your business. The following document is an illustration of what not to include in your employee handbook. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work. It should go deeper and explain why you have those policies and why they are important. Gusto conducted a survey of more than 330 businesses to find out what they’ve prioritized in their employee handbooks. Can be a living document that evolves and grows with the organisation. Full-time vs. part-time hours 4. Whatever the new policies may be, your employee handbook should be updated to clearly reflect them. Social Media. Similarly, make sure managers understand policies. 1. For example, you can explain your: What’s life like at the office? It should lay out your legal obligations as an employer and your employees’ rights. What about customers, vendors, and other partners? Since employment laws change over time and can vary by location and industry, consult a lawyer or HR expert for specific guidance. This handbook is provided to the … This sample table of contents also covers pay, performance expectations, and legal issues. Here’s where you list out the benefits you offer your team and explain how they match up with the values you celebrate. Now is the best time to switch. We will no longer accept a doctor’s statement (note) as proof of sickness. Employee Handbook. One emerging best practice is creating an employee handbook addendum specifically built around modifications to work and workplace culture created by COVID-19. Include in the handbook policies on all types of leave that are permissible, such as vacations, sick days, jury duty, maternity leave, etc. Your email address will not be published. So kick things off by laying out the basics that every employee should know before the shimmy through the front door. An employee handbook—or employee manual—is an important living document for your employees that outlines your company policies, history, and culture for current and future employees. She has covered HR for The Balance Careers since 2000. An employee handbook can seem unnecessary when you’ve got a small team. Your employee handbook should already clearly articulate the company’s EEO statement and emphasize your organization’s commitment to hiring individuals based on competency without regard for race, color, religion, national origin, or familial affiliation. Your employee handbook should be simple and straightforward about expectations and employee rules. But not matter type of business you’re running, there are several essentials you’ll probably want to include when drafting your employee handbook. Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. 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