Do You Need an Employee Handbook?

Does your company have an employee handbook? Many businesses, especially smaller organizations, might question the need for handbooks. They may seem unimportant or unnecessary – not to mention the work involved in creating one from scratch. However, a good employee handbook can be an extremely valuable resource for both a company and its employees.

Employee handbooks can be used to provide employees with an outline of the company’s code of conduct, policies, and standardized procedures. Signed employee acknowledgments of handbook receipt to show that employees have been made aware of the company’s policies and can help protect the company from potential legal trouble such as wrongful termination or discrimination suits.

If you need a new employee handbook, or your current version is in need of revision, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Use the handbook as a tool to introduce your organization, its mission, and values to employees.
    • Getting everyone on the same page in regards to the company culture and how employees fit in can be helpful in fostering a sense of pride and belonging, which ultimately leads to happier and more productive workers.
  • Showcase benefits offered to employees.
    • Outline the details of your organization’s retirement plan(s), paid time off, and other benefits. Making these details easily accessible can help clear up any confusion around eligibility or other aspects of the company’s benefits, and reduce concerns around discrimination or favoritism.
  • Set clear expectations with the company’s policies and legal obligations.
    • It’s important to make sure employees clearly understand their rights and responsibilities in regards to the different policies and codes of conduct that your organization may have. Businesses should exercise caution and ensure statements in the handbook are not overly broad to help avoid any misunderstanding.
  • Clearly state employees’ rights and what the company’s HR processes and policies are.
    • This can help clarify the proper course of action when dealing with grievances and HR issues and can be used as a point of reference for the HR team as well as employees to make sure cases are handled fairly and consistently.
  • An employee handbook should be a living document.
    • Reviews of the handbook should be performed periodically, with sections being updated as necessary to stay in line with ever-changing regulations. A company’s mission, values, and culture can also change over time, and the handbook should reflect these changes accordingly.
  • Review with an HR expert and/or legal counsel.
    • Consulting with a well-versed expert can help ensure that your handbook uses language that is clear and effective, to prevent misuse and misunderstanding. Experienced HR professionals will also help you structure your handbook in a way that makes the most sense and advise on content to make sure the document is not missing any critical components.

An effective employee handbook can be extremely valuable for your organization. At Valor Payroll Solutions, we can lend our expertise to help build detailed and compliant employee handbooks which are custom-made for your business to maintain a positive work culture. Contact us today!


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