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A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating An Effective Employee Handbooks

Why do you need an employee handbook anyway? If someone doesn’t know the rules for PTO or how to sign up for benefits, they can just ask. Right? Wrong! Without an employee handbook, your HR professionals could spend most of their time answering the same questions. To prevent misunderstandings and save the sanity of your HR team, you need a living, breathing document where new and tenured employees can get the answers they need.

With a comprehensive employee handbook, you can improve communication with your staff. Handbooks combine a range of different policies into a uniform guidebook that makes it convenient for long-standing employees as well as new hires to stay informed. By writing everything down, you can help protect your company against unfair treatment and discrimination claims. It also gives employees a place to review the rules without engaging your HR staff in lengthy discussions.

Do you need assistance putting together your employee handbook? Ravix Group is one of the best outsourced HR services providers, and we have put together a few tips to help you get started.

Tips for Organizing Your Employee Handbook

Handbooks can become lengthy and complicated over time. Make yours easy to navigate by partnering with a top-notch outsourced HR consultancy. Additionally, you can consider implementing the following best practices:

  • Include a table of contents (hyperlink sections in the digital format).
  • Organize subject matter in a logical way.
  • Use section headings to make policies and procedures easier to scan.
  • Start each policy on a new page for clarity.
  • Organize pages for printed versions in loose-leaf binders. This makes it easier to keep them up to date.
  • Include the date on each page (in the header or footer of the electronic document).

Do you need assistance documenting, updating, and distributing your employee handbooks? Ravix Group has outsourced HR consultants that can assist you with this project.

Steps to Create Your Employee Handbook

Follow this guide to make sure you don’t miss critical steps in the creation of your handbook.

1. Review and Update Current Company Policies

You may have policies and procedures specific to various departments. It’s important to consolidate them all in preparation for creating an employee handbook. Ensure all stakeholders are on the same page and that all employees receive consistent information with regard to company expectations. You can also create a list of missing policies you wish to create and publish in the employee handbook.

2. Create an Outline

You’ll want to include the following subjects in your outline and organize additional subjects appropriately:

  • Your organization’s mission statement
  • Equal employment opportunity statement
  • Employment contractual disclaimer, as appropriate
  • Purpose of the employee handbook
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) policies for health insurance
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) information
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) practices

3. Create Short Versions of Policies and Procedures

Include a summary of all policies and procedures in the handbook. Exclude legal verbiage and speak in an appropriate tone and style to the employees who will read this important document.

4: Add Each Summary Statement to the Appropriate Section

Our Human Resources consultants can help you create a completed outline. Once you have an outline in place, add the summary statements to each section. Follow that up with the rules, policies, and other information pertaining to each outline topic.

5. Review the Entire Handbook

Include stakeholders from each department in the final review of the employee handbook. Typically, we recommend forming a project team that includes employees from every level of the organization. This can ensure clarity and comprehensiveness. This process also gives employees a voice in the policies and procedures that will be the framework of their workplace environment.

Provide a copy to your legal team and make any changes necessary. For example, your in-house legal team can point out language that infers a contractual agreement.

6. Publish and Distribute

Determine how you will publish and distribute the employee handbook. As one of the best outsourced HR consulting companies, Ravix Group has the expertise to help you publish your first draft and annual or semi-annual updates. From choosing reliable vendors for the printed version to setting up a dynamic digital document, this is one of the most important stages of the process.

You can begin by publishing the employee handbook on the company’s intranet or other collaborative project management systems used within your organization. When you make significant changes to the employee handbook, it’s important to notify your employees. You can do this through a group email highlighting the changes and linking to revised sections.

Take steps to make sure that each employee has reviewed the changes. For example, you can ask recipients to send email confirmations after reviewing new policies.

Do You Need Assistance Writing or Updating Your Employee Handbook?

Ravix Group handles a host of outsourced HR functions. If you would like assistance documenting your current policies, putting together the relevant information, or updating your employee handbook, we can help. We also offer advisory services when you need to put your company back on the right track with people management programs and policies.

As one of the best HR outsourcing companies, Ravix Group can link your startup or established business with experienced professionals. Contact us online, or call us at 408-216-0656 to get started today.