Like many business owners, you may view employee handbooks as a necessary evil, something to be stuck in a file cabinet to satisfy the attorneys and HR professionals, rather than a dynamic, working document. However, handbooks can be used as a tool to make your organization more successful.
A clearly written, easy-to-understand handbook can result in the following benefits:
- Fewer employee complaints, because people are treated consistently across the company.
- Higher morale, because supportive language reduces doubt and uncertainty, while promoting mutual respect.
- Clear boundaries that reduce micromanagement and enhance productivity.
- Employee behaviors that align with company goals.
The best handbooks focus on desired outcomes and give examples of how to achieve them. In addition, they need to provide standards and expectations, and explain who will judge or hold people accountable for the outcomes. This means management must support the policies and decisions across the organization. They must hold employees responsible for their conduct. If the handbook is consistently applied and enforced, it also can help to defend an employer from potential liability.
When developing your employee handbook, you may decide to hire a human resources specialist or an HR attorney to ensure it complies with federal and state laws, yet prior to that point, you need to internally determine your standards and expectations. Eagle Corporate Advisors can help steer you in the right direction.