What Does Employee Handbook Mean?

By hrlineup | 31.01.2022

Human resource managers may face a mammoth task briefing all employees on company policy. To make the task easier, employee handbooks (which are also known as the employee manual) have been created. The employee handbook is a comprehensive document that provides information on the company culture, policies, rules and regulations for the company. This ensures that employees are clear about all the operating procedures for the company. It details what should happen in the event of any challenges, and acts as an FAQ on behavioural expectations. When joining an organisation, new employees are required to go through the handbook, and sign, acknowledging that they have done so.

The employee handbook is highly valuable for the employee, as it immediately introduces them to the mission, vision and values of the company.

Are employee handbooks required by law?

The employee handbook is not required by law, though it does have some legal connotations. By ensuring that the employees sign a statement that acknowledges they have read the handbook, human resource managers have greater control. This control may be essential when dealing with disciplinary issues if necessary.

In addition, other legal information may be shared in the employee handbook. This could include equal employment opportunity policies, safety within the workplace and even how employees should address any issues with harassment.

Improvements on Employee Handbooks

Like any document within an organisation, the employee handbook will continue to evolve. It is the responsibility of the human resource department to ensure that all employees are informed in the event of any changes. Typically, new employee manuals are available online through the internet or intranet, so that any employee can access them when required.

As a document that many employees may find difficult to read, it should be as personalised as possible. Including images and brief exercises within the handbook elevates the format, and keeps readers engaged.

What does the Employee Handbook mean for the organisation?

An organisation benefits from having an employee handbook because: –

  • All general expectations within the workplace are clearly defined.
  • Employees become more accountable when they have something to refer to.
  • Save time for the human resource staff as employees ask less questions on day to day operations, and how to handle disputes.
  • The employee handbook provides a good base for enforcing rules and regulations
  • The handbook can have a highly positive impact on the bottom line of the business.
  • Policies are formalized, and can all be found in one place

It is worth noting that the employee handbook should never be viewed as an employment contract. It simply provides information on how the company should run.

To ensure that the employee handbook is able to serve its purpose, the language used should be simple and direct. When seeking to improve the handbook over time, any feedback received from the employees should be taken into consideration. At the end of the day, the employee handbook should be used to help the staff be more effective.