What to include in a staff handbook

by Daniel Jones

Producing a staff handbook could be one of the best moves you ever make as a company boss, as the document will resolve numerous issues and appease staff personnel over the years to come.

At first, you might think: 'Do I really need to write an handbook?'. Here are our reasons why it's vital for you and your business.

Why you need an handbook

1. It prevents confusion

The handbook will set out the company's policies and values, so employees never have to be confused about where they stand on a certain issue.

There are many examples of matters staff might be worried about bringing up in person, so kitting them out with an handbook will give them the chance to answer their own questions.

2. Use it as an induction tool

It will be invaluable when recruiting or inducting members of the workforce, as it can be used effectively as an introduction and guide to the business. This will enable new recruits to get up to speed quickly.

How to write a staff handbook

If you decide to write a staff handbook yourself, you should consider some of the practicalities of doing so: 

1. Staff inclusion

Can you involve your employees in the process so that the information they want is included? 

2. Format

What format should the handbook be published in? An electronic version may now be the best option.

3. Style

Think about the style in which you write, as it's vital that you're clear and concise. Stick to short and sharp sentences that leave no room for doubt.

4. Contents

Most importantly of all, you will need to include the right contents in your staff handbook, or risk it becoming relatively worthless. After all, if you produce a document but omit vital details, staff will still have to come to you for guidance and information, making the whole process pointless.

There should be details relating to the employees' terms of employment, including their training, attendance and appearance at work.

Details of absence and time off for dependants should also be covered.

You must also explain what hours people are expected to work and whether there is any potential for flexible or remote working to occur.

Finally, it should include information on health and safety in the workplace, a redundancy policy and grievance procedure.

Professional template

If you don't want to write an handbook yourself, Lawpack's Staff Handbook template has been professionally written by an employment lawyer and includes all the clauses you need to protect your company legally. Available to download and use instantly.

More information

Published on: May 1, 2014

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