Employee Handbook: why should you have one?
20 February 2023
Having an Employee Handbook is best practice for any company with employees. If it’s well designed, the benefits are numerous.
Who benefits from an Employee Handbook?
Employee Handbooks are common in many countries around the world. When well designed, they serve both employers and employees equally. Their aim is to detail clear policies, procedures and rules for both parties, ensuring a certain level of protection in the event of a dispute and setting forth what should or must be done in certain situations. Such a guide introduces employees to what they can expect from their employer and what is expected of them. In addition, by introducing an Employee Handbook to new employees during the onboarding process, employers demonstrate a true level of professionalism and structure. This indicates that the company is organised, in good standing, attentive and caring towards its employees.
Reasons to have an Employee Handbook
- The Handbook introduces new employees to the company’s culture, mission and values.
- It clearly communicates general responsibilities, policies and procedures to ensure that employees know what is expected of them
- A well-written Handbook provides employees with clear and consistent expectations (e.g. professionalism in the workplace, dress code, workplace violence, drug and alcohol use, harassment policies, etc.).
- It helps prevent discrimination and promotes equality in the workplace.
- It establishes clear guidelines for employees on how to report incidents of discrimination or harassment to the employer as well as appropriate authorities.
- The Handbook can include policies relating to dismissal and should it be followed correctly, can strengthen the employer’s position in the event of a termination.
- It helps the employer stay compliant with statutory minimum local employment legislation as well as setting out any enhanced offerings over and above the legal minimum requirements.
- Centralise relevant employment related policies in one place.
How to create an Employee Handbook
Creating an Employee Handbook can be a daunting task and keeping it up to date and in compliance with relevant laws can be a challenge; however by not having a handbook in place, a myriad of confusion and costs are likely. In countries where they are common, ZEDRA’s HR team can help you limit the risk of litigation by developing an effective Employee Handbook and keeping it compliant with ever-changing local employment regulation, all at a competitive cost.