How Do You Write an Employee Handbook? Here’s A Helpful Starter Guide

Posted December 26, 2018 by Justworks in Running a Business 101
Ready to put together your company’s employee handbook, but not sure where to start? Learn how to make an employee handbook that works.

The term “employee handbook” may evoke images of a dusty stack of plastic-bound photocopies wedged away in the corner of the company break room. But when done well, employee handbooks are a great opportunity to communicate both your company’s essential employment policies, and also your culture and ethos.

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What’s the Purpose of an Employee Handbook?

In addition to articulating key policies, employee handbooks also help you set clear expectations for your team — an important driver of employee satisfaction and retention. One-third of employees leave a job in the first six months; of those, 23% reported that they’d have been more likely to stay if they’d had clearer guidelines from the start, according to a Justworks survey. Employee handbooks promote consistent policies among your organization and in doing so strengthen trust.

What Should Be Included in an Employee Handbook?

We’ve put together a Starter Guide to Creating an Employee Handbook for growing businesses. The guide provides an overview of the areas your handbook should address, as well as tips around crafting policies related to:

  • Anti-harassment and equal employment opportunity
  • IT resources
  • Benefits
  • Wages
  • Performance and termination
  • Security
  • Safety and loss prevention

How Do You Write an Employee Handbook?

Your employee handbook is often one of the first points of introduction to your company for new team members. As such, it’s helpful to consider not only the information in your handbook, but also how that information is presented.

Shoot for a friendly, conversational tone. Pay attention to the design and structure of the document to make sure it’s easy for employees to find answers to FAQs. And don’t forget to distribute the handbook to your employees, or let them know where the they can access the electronic version of the handbook (e.g., on the company’s intranet).

Are Employers Required to Have an Employee Handbook?

While there are many laws requiring employers to notify employees in writing of certain workplace rights, there’s no law that specifically calls for the creation of an employee handbook. However, taking the initiative to create one will go a long way toward making your team feel supported and fostering an environment of openness and trust at every level of your organization.

Ready to get started? Download the Starter Guide to Creating an Employee Handbook today.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.