Just as every business is different, every employee handbook is different. But, while individual policies will differ from company to company, there are some general ideas that every employee handbook should include.
While most employees have a general idea of what is appropriate behavior at work, the employee handbook is the place to clearly outline these expectations to minimize confusion. The handbook should include the company dress code and policies on breaks, equipment, drugs and alcohol, internal communication, conflict, and employee relationships. The handbook should also talk about any work performance expectations and outline any disciplinary processes.
Even with crystal clear explanations of company expectations, workplace issues still inevitably arise. The employee handbook should tell employees where to direct their complaints or concerns and make them feel like they have recourse if an issue does arise.
The employee handbook should include a general overview of the types of benefits available to employees. Because benefits packages may differ among positions at the company, the handbook is not the place for details on health insurance or retirement packages, but there should be a clear process for requesting vacation, sick leave, or other time off.
The employee handbook is an opportunity for management to communicate the values of the organization to employees. The handbook should state the company’s core values and give employees a clear view of why they are doing what they do every day.