The employment policy handbook is a document that will be handed to the employees of an organization. It sets out the guiding principles for the respective company, as well as its core values and behavior guidelines. It can help the employer avoid legal issues due to the employees’ actions or clarify the nature of their work with them. This article will discuss what policies should be covered in ideal employment policy templates and how they benefit both the employer and employees.
How does it differ from general employment contracts?
While both documents are similar, there are notable differences between them. A contract is a legal agreement that binds two parties, while an employment policy handbook is not. Therefore, employers cannot expect their employees to sign any contract based on the employee handbook and force them to agree with all of its contents legally. The latter document is more like a guide for the employees, explaining the company’s goals and how they can contribute towards achieving them. This way, the employer can ensure that the employees fully understand what the company expects from them and the purpose of their employment.
What should be included in the employee handbook?
The information contained in standard employment policy templates should primarily serve as a reference for new hires. While some sections may seem redundant, including everything will prove useful if the employee needs to refer to them later. The handbook should include the following:
- An overview of the company itself, its vision and mission statement, and its objectives. This should give a clear picture of who the company is and what it hopes to achieve in the future.
- A list of the company’s core values and behaviors and how these apply to the workplace. For example, how they should treat coworkers, clients, and members of the public, as well as how they should behave online or outside of work, come under this section.
- Details about the company’s benefits package, including vacation time, health insurance, retirement plans, and any other perks offered by the employer. These should be clearly explained so that there is no confusion when the employee first reads through the handbook.
- Information about the company’s disciplinary procedures and how they should be used to deal with issues within the company
- Guidelines regarding the use of company equipment. How the employee should handle work equipment should be mentioned here. And this section can be applied to the company’s information, computer systems, and digital assets, such as instructions to follow when handling confidential business data, where they should store files on the internet, and how they should interact with electronic devices owned by the company.
- How the employee should conduct himself at work. What sort of attire is acceptable, how much rest the employee should get during working hours, and how the company expects them to behave around clients, etc., are the crucial aspects that should be discussed here.
- Details about the company’s HR department and how they can be contacted if necessary.
Having a handbook in place allows both the employer and the employee to know exactly what is required of them. It removes ambiguity and can prevent misunderstandings from arising. When employees are clear about the company’s requirements and expectations, there is less room for disagreements, conflicts, or other problems. One can easily create their own handbook using the free employment policy templates available on the internet. All they need to do is simply download the file and customize it according to their requirements.