Once considered a simple administrative brochure summarizing company history, operational procedures, and employee benefits, the Employee Handbook is now more properly interpreted as a primary information resource, statement of company policies, and line of protection against various employee claims, grievances, and lawsuits. A well designed, professionally written, and uniquely tailored Employee Handbook is a strategic advantage in defining, maintaining, and promoting organizational success.
Motivated by cost rather than the consequence, many companies mistakenly believe any Employee Handbook is sufficient: Nothing could be further from the truth. Off-the-shelf Employee Handbooks frequently lead to more problems than solutions, leaving the company exposed to various problems that should have, and could have, been easily avoided. In much the same way that employees, equipment, and revenue are meaningful company assets, an effective Employee Handbook is an equally identified index of value.
A composite of content, process, and outcome, an effective Employee Handbook represents a critical component in a company’s strategic human resources plan. Fundamental to that plan, an optimally astute Employee Handbook should possess well-articulated information arrayed across the following topics:
- Company Introduction
- Leaves of Absence
- Compensation and Timekeeping
- Employee Relations and Conduct
- Employee Health and Safety
- Administrative Policies
- At-will Acknowledgment
- Arbitration Agreement
Preparation is a strategic advantage. Administrative indifference in lieu of detailed preparation regarding an Employee Handbook is short-sighted, capable of enabling problems to arise when they should have been prevented. Always have a strategic advantage.
Steve Cesare Ph.D.
has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety. Read Steve's full bio.