If you think that by now something has certainly replaced the trusty employee handbook, think again. Even in today’s high-tech world, the need for this comprehensive document has not diminished. If anything, the techie-ness of our society has created a greater need for this compilation of information.
By definition, the employee handbook is an assembling of the policies, procedures, working conditions, and behavioral expectations for any particular workplace. Its contents guide both employer and employee expectations and as well as actions. Simply put it lays out how the employer wants employees to be treated and how workers are expected to behave.
“It’s an introduction to who we are,” says Julia Grafton
, an HR generalist at Boston-based architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch.
Effective employee handbooks are:
- a management tool for employers
- a road map for employees
- a necessary ingredient for maintaining a professional environment
- a boon to a productive workplace
A well-crafted handbook that makes a clear case for the organization’s brand and culture can do double-duty and also serve as a tool to attract top talent. By including a welcome letter from the president or CEO, and spelling out the company's mission, purpose, values, and goals, alongside the company's commitment to employees, the handbook becomes the all-inclusive document for recruiting and maintaining a cream-of-the-crop workforce.
Employers benefit from this one-stop resource that covers every topic that must be addressed when a recruit joins the team. It encompasses the vast number of details that would:
- Be too many for any hiring manager/HR supervisor to remember andCompletely overwhelm the new kid on the
- Completely overwhelm the new kid on the block should he/she try to absorb it all in one sitting.
Employees gain a sense of security from a thoroughly inclusive handbook because they know it will answer the questions they’ve not yet thought to ask; knowing that as a member of the team, they are privy to the same info as everyone else within the pages of the well-organized handbook. Sharing this knowledge base with co-workers brings them up to speed and empowers new employees to jump right in the mix.
When things are spelled out, whether it be the benefits package, a plan for resolving complaints or holiday pay, new recruits put to rest many “what if?” scenarios and can better focus on fulfilling the tasks related to their new position.
The bottom line: Employee handbooks make everyone’s work life better.
In Employee Handbooks Part 2, we’ll address the specifics of making your employee handbook be the best it can be.
is “The deeper end of the talent pool” in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area. While you fine tune the employee handbook, let us deliver a customized, industry-specific process, and culture-based Human Resource solutions right to you. Contact our team