The Value of an Employee Handbook – 5 Reasons Why You Should Have One
April 20, 2023
Written by Sandra Reder
Founder and President
As a business owner or manager, should you have an employee handbook? While this might seem like a small detail, the truth is that having a handbook can make a huge difference in your business. It can improve the overall performance of your employees while reducing mistakes and misunderstandings.
The five reasons why having an employee handbook is valuable for any business:
- Sets Clear Expectations
- Functions as a Training Tool
- Reduces Legal Risks
- Enhances Communication
- Develops Trust
1. Sets Clear Expectations
Whether you’re onboarding a new employee or have a team member who has been with you for 20+ years, an employee handbook sets clear expectations. The handbook enables you to clearly define what is, and what is not acceptable behaviour in the workplace, how employees should perform in their roles, and their overall responsibilities. It ensures that employees are aware of what is expected of them, it helps to prevent confusion, misunderstandings and workplace conflicts.
2. Training Tool
The Employee Handbook is the “how-to book” of your business for new hires. It will save you time onboarding, they can learn important information about your company, your policies and the workplace culture you strive to achieve. The Employee Handbook can also be a helpful tool when conducting performance management meetings as a means of reminding employees of the ground rules.
3. Reducing Legal Risks
When you have a handbook, you can document important policies and procedures, such as bullying and harassment policies, DEI policies, overtime and code of conduct policies. This can mitigate legal risks and make it easier for you to respond if something goes wrong. This is where you can also include what type of training is required by law for your business, like workplace bullying and harassment.
4. Enhancing Communication
Providing your employees with an Employee Handbook can help you to ensure that important messages are understood by everyone. For instance, you can include information on company culture, benefits, and the overall vision and mission of the company. This is also where you can outline policies that can include vacation days, sick days paid time off and any additional benefits that you may provide, making it clear for employees how you as an organization prioritize their well-being.
5. Developing Trust
When you have a well-developed Employee Handbook that is consistently applied, employees can trust that they are being treated fairly and equitably, which in turn fosters a positive work environment.
In conclusion, having an Employee Handbook is critical for any organization aspiring to create an efficient and effective workforce. It sets clear expectations, provides an essential tool for training, reduces legal risks, serves as an effective communication tool, and helps promote trust among employees.
Are you ready to create your Employee Handbook?
Whether you need assistance developing a manual from scratch or updating and existing one, we can work with you to ensure that your employee policy manual is tailored to your business’s unique needs.
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About the Author
For over 20 years, Sandra has been a driving force within the human resource community. Her understanding of current HR best practices and trends is extensive, and her desire to ensure that Vertical Bridge is providing innovative programs and services to their clients is what drives her and the business forward. She has worked within a wide range of industries including healthcare, private sector, not-for-profit and public sector.
Over the years she has been privy to information that few employers ever hear directly from their employees. She became aware that many employers do not realize how they are perceived by their employees. That awareness produced Sandra’s strong interest in assisting employers to ensure that they are creating engaging and respectful workplaces. In 2005 Sandra founded Vertical Bridge, a full service HR and recruitment consulting practice.
In late 2014 Sandra identified a need for human resources support within the healthcare sector. She founded HealthBridge HR, offering a variety of HR solutions specifically for health care practitioners providing them with the HR expertise that they would not otherwise have access to.
Sandra is a well-regarded facilitator and speaker on a variety of subjects, including HR Best Practices and Inter-Generational Communication within the Workplace. She is a sought after keynote speaker on the topic of human resources and has presented at numerous association and industry conferences.
She is actively involved with HRMA (the Human Resources Management Association), Sandra currently sits on a number of Boards, including EMBERS, a downtown Eastside social enterprise and the Developmental Disabilities Association. Sandra is the past chapter president of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services and past Chair of the Board of Governors for the Developmental Disabilities Foundation. She also has had the privilege of sitting on the local Chapter Board of Room to Read and she has actively volunteered her time with Covenant House in Vancouver.