An employee handbook is also known as an employee manual, staff handbook, guidebook or company policy manual. Generally, it is handed over to an employee on the first day of employment. It helps new employees to learn about company rules, policies, culture, and values. It is useful for future reference too to all employees.
The handbook is a manual that lists the company culture information, policies and procedures, legal information like employment policies, anti-harassment policies. HR can include the expected level of safety for employees in the organization in the handbook.
The following sections could be considered by the HR department of an organization while creating a handbook for the new hires.
1.Introduction to Company & Values: A brief description of your company, its core values and some insight into your culture can be added here.
2.Confidentiality & Nondiclosure:A nondisclosure agreement focuses on confidentiality and a non-compete prevents terminated employees from taking your clients or starting a competing business.
3.Anti-discrimination Policy:This keeps you compliant with the laws enforced in the country.
4. Compensation & Benefits: This being a printed booklet a general mention of the salary components along with deductions that the employee can expect can be mentioned.
5.Computers & Technology Policy:Can spell out employer’s rights to view electronic documents; suggesting employees keep passwords secure. Clarify your cell phone policy.
6.Leave Policies:Let employees know what your paid time off, sick leave, parental leave and other leave policies are and what they can be used for. (This will save you loads of time answering questions).
7.Progressive Discipline Policy:For the business owner, this is a good section to lay out steps for discipline and demonstrate your commitment to fairness. It should also make prohibited behaviours clear and reduce the risk of an employee winning a lawsuit for wrongful termination. In it, make sure to include a reminder that at-will employment remains in effect, regardless of the discipline policy.
8.Signature:The signature section verifies that the employee received a copy of the handbook, read it, and understood it. That makes the employee take it more seriously and may help as a safeguard in case of a wrongful termination lawsuit.
9.FAQ: PulseHRM strongly recommends adding FAQ at the end of the handbook with questions which the HR has frequently dealt with and replies to the same or directing to the page number where the reply is (this will save you loads of time answering the same questions).
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