Regardless of business nature and size, managers need to implement rules, regulations, and general guidelines for employees to follow at all times. It sets out the expectations of business either formally or informally. Making your employees understand business guidelines is important for having all employees on the same page.
An employee handbook is a consolidated set of rules, regulations, policies, and protocols for the employees. It discusses their rights and obligations and how they can express their needs and concerns within the working environment. Having an employee handbook sets a clear tone of what the employees can expect from business or what the business expects from them. A well-crafted employee handbook sets the organization's priorities and protects it from legal trouble if someone questions its transparency.
Typically, an employee handbook has the following components:
Developing an employee handbook simplifies the process of communicating rules and responsibilities to all employees. Doing so leaves little room for any doubts regarding what’s expected from the employees and the employer. Additionally, a well-crafted employee handbook can protect you from costly workers’ compensation claims and expensive and winding lawsuits, which can hamper your organization’s reputation.
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Given below are practical steps of creating a team member handbook from scratch.
You need to find the person within the organization who has the time and expertise to write an employee handbook. The handbook is mostly produced with group effort or by human resources in large organizations. If no one can handle the task, consider outsourcing it to a third-party company.
Whoever writes the handbook would need to have significant knowledge of business ethics and guidelines. If not, you will have to spend time to understand the current state of business size, resources, department, and growth goals.
You’ll also need to consider several other factors. These include determining whether you have multiple locations, whether you employ hybrid or remote employees, the employee assets you’ve provided, your company culture, etc.
Research is essential but probably the most time-consuming task of creating the handbook. You need to include all employee regulations relevant to your region or the regions you operate in, including pay rate, unpaid leaves, breaks, etc. You can also have an employment law attorney in-house for this.
The information included in the handbook must come from reliable sources and should create more confusion. Your research can take information from sample templates and existing handbooks to get a better idea of what you want your handbook to look like.
The employee handbook consists of a lot of information. It will be a smart move to organize the information based on their requirement to be included in the report. The outlet can eventually be used to create the table of content for the handbook. Always include a table of content so employees can easily navigate through information instead of scrutinizing the lengthy book of policies.
Handbooks are produced in a clear and simple business tone that employees can understand from all levels. If you face any difficulty writing in a clear business tone, consider using a template to cure your writer's block. Templates are a great way to start and speed up the writing process.
However, always customize the template information as per your requirements. Generic policies might not be useful to your employees and would not reflect your company’s rules and regulations.
Remember that creating an employee handbook is an ongoing process and does not end once distributed among employees. You will need to update it at least once every year. For instance, if you have switched to remote working, added a new process, or added a new working location outside your region, you must review the handbook and make necessary changes. Translating your employee handbook to other languages is essential when expanding globally.
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