Ask the Experts: The Importance of Employee Handbooks

Question: What is the benefit of investing in the creation of an employee handbook?

Answer: A handbook sets expectations and general guidelines for employees to operate under, promotes treating employees with fair and consistent practices, outlines employee benefits, and helps defend unemployment claims and lawsuits. Providing a well-drafted and complete handbook permits management to operate efficiently in determining proper steps and actions to take with employees in handling a variety of topics from attendance, leave, performance concerns, and disciplinary action including terminations. When a company invests in the creation and distribution of a handbook, the company empowers the workforce to operate within the guidelines stated, setting rules and processes that define the how, why, and who to go to that will inevitably become a backdrop to defending any allegations of wrong doing when drafted and followed carefully. The return on investment (ROI) of the employee handbook is unmeasurable; it can provide support in the defense of a legal suit, minimize decision making in the moment for your workforce, and act as a valuable resource when guidance is needed. The employee handbook is a recipe book for successfully managing and empowering the workforce to meet general expectations of the business.