Effective Communication: The Employee Handbook

Employee handbooks explain the relationship and responsibilities of the employee and employer. In addition, they also provide clear communication on a variety of employment policies, and topics. A well-written employee handbook establishes guides for the workplace and protects the employer from liability.

Employee Handbook Purpose: A Guide

Handbooks specify expectations, rules and compensation. A comprehensive employee handbook will serve as a guide to employees and include information regarding compensation, benefits, dress code, human resources issues, time off, and workers’ compensation. Employees should also be able to find information regarding performance reviews, discipline and rewards, drug and alcohol policies, anti-discrimination policies, social media usage, safety guidelines, and various other behavioral and procedural expectations within their handbook. The communication should be clear and concise about expectations and limitations as an employee.

Utilize as Legal Protection

Although the employee handbook is vital from a legal standpoint. In many employment lawsuits, it is a key piece of evidence that can either protect your company or provide ammunition for an employee who is suing you. You can drastically reduce your liability by clearly laying out all employee expectations and prohibited behavior.When drafting your employee handbook, it is essential to be aware of and adhere to all federal, state and local laws. The employee handbook should clearly define the legal obligations and rights of both the employer and employee.

Plain English and Readily Available

Furthermore, thorough, up-to-date, legally compliant, understandable and readily available—these are the essential characteristics of an effective handbook.

Aside from keeping a current copy easily accessible to employees, it is also wise to have employees sign a form stating that they received and reviewed the handbook. This signature will ensure that an employee cannot later claim that he or she was unaware of a particular policy.

Make your Handbook a Priority 

HR departments are often short on time and inundated with numerous important tasks. With a time crunch for all the responsibilities in HR, finding time to write an employee handbook can be difficult.

Next Generation Payroll is a local black owned Payroll company that can provide you with educational resources and dozens of sample handbook policies to assist you as you put together your handbook and keep it updated.

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