Employee Handbook: 8 Reasons for Why to Have Them
Your most valued asset and a business’ biggest expense is it’s employees. Having tools, systems and formal written policies are critical to managing and maintaining an effective working relationship with your employees. Central to establishing and maintaining a positive working relationship are clear, formal written policies and procedures.
An employee handbook is the cornerstone for laying the foundation for the company’s policies and procedures and a powerful tool to communicate an organization’s value and vision.
It lays the groundwork for a company’s culture and influences on a day-to-day basis. Plus, it can form the first line of defense in an employment lawsuit or investigation. Research shows that the risk and cost of non-compliance to labor laws has increased. Over the past 20 years there has been a 400% increase in employment law suits. According the Department of Labor the average award is a whopping $490,000. Fines range from $110 to over $16,000 for non-compliance.
We highlight below 8 reasons for why to have an employee handbook.
1. Introduces Employees to Company Culture, Mission and Values
Clear values and a strong help drive consistent customer service, work habits, company objectives and help keep companies headed in the right direction.
2. Communicates Your Expectations for Employees
A well-written handbook gives employees a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. It creates a more harmonious workplace by providing guidance on expected behavior and conduct.
3. Tells Employees What They Can Expect from Management
An employee handbook clarifies company objectives and leadership styles. It promotes management best practices and contributes to foster healthy manager-employee relationships.
4. Helps Ensure Key Companies Policies Aare Clear and Consistent
A handbook will familiarize employees with your organization’s policies relating to employment, conduct compensation, health and safety.
5. Showcases the Benefits Your Organization Offers
From paid time off,, to retirement plans, to employee perks or events, an employee handbook let employees know about a company’s suite of benefits, which can help increase employee retention.
6. Ensures Compliance with Federal and State Law
A handbook is a critical tool for ensuring and demonstrating that your organization’s policies and procedures comply with your legal obligations.
7. Helps Defend Against Employment Claims
An employee handbook can serve as valuable protection in the event an employee were to challenge an employer with a lawsuit.
8. Lets Employee Know Where to Turn to for Help
A handbook describes how employees can get help to resolve conflicts, report workplace violations, get workplace-related assistance and answer on-the-job questions they may have.
Wrapping it Up for Why to Have an Employee Handbook
In this post we highlighted 8 reasons for why to have an employee handbook. Based on exposure to employee litigation, the high cost of employee settlements and the potential of fines from the Department of Labor and other state labor agencies, every business should have an employee handbook. For those that do have an employee handbook, consider providing or updating your company employee handbooks to reflect current trends that are highly relevant in today’s workplace.
The perception that employee handbooks are bland stacks of standard policies lead some employers to become static in routines and forget to employ creative and strategic policies that can provide important benefits to the company.
To be sure your Employee Handbook is up to speed, conduct a thorough review, at least, on an annual basis with the guidance from an HR Professional, if needed.
To assist you with managing your personnel we put together this FREE EBook: Top 10 Performance Evaluation Biases Negatively Impacting Employee Morale.