Are you struggling to keep up with employee communication and reiterating your company’s goals, roles, and values during every discussion?
The best way to avoid this monotony, save time, and increase overall employee productivity is to create an employee handbook that clearly describes everything from goals and conduct to mission and vision statements.
As easy as that might sound, it can be difficult to lay out the details in the intended fashion if you don’t know a few basic things about drafting an employee handbook.
So, in case you’re wondering where to begin, follow this guide to create the perfect employee handbook.
What Is an Employee Handbook?
An employee handbook is a manual that clearly defines the functionality of your company and establishes ground rules for communication, benefiting both employee and employer. It talks about your organizational goals, strategies, functioning, basic policies, mission, vision, value statements, and everything in between.
Think of an employee handbook as a menu for your favorite restaurant that states every ingredient used to prepare a dish to perfection. When you know exactly what you’re eating, you’re much more at ease with what might follow on your plate.
Important Factors to Consider While Drafting an Employee Handbook
A handbook comes into the picture when an employee tries to communicate issues regarding finances, laws, or expectations to an employer, or vice versa.
Since this is the gospel truth that governs your company’s communication and policies, it is the one document that everyone abides by in times of conflict and clarifies generic doubts related to organizational structure. That’s why it is important to give the task of drafting the handbook to a professional who knows what goes where.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few more points to remember while creating your employee handbook.
1. Get to the Point
When your employees see a 100-page document, they might instantly lose interest. Keep your content as concise as you can.
That does not mean you skip information. Say everything, but keep it short and to the point.
For instance, while talking about exit procedures, mention your employee and employer expectations and documentation. But don’t go into the nitty-gritty of explaining every document that needs to be filed.
2. Develop a Unique Flow
Use different design elements while drafting your handbook, and keep your content conversational.
Say you’re describing the salary breakup of a particular role. Instead of putting numbers and figures in a boring format, combine them into an infographic, and let the data flow seamlessly.
3. Make It Engaging
Making your employee handbook engaging is an important point to remember.
You want your employees to understand and act on the information, rather than just reading and not assimilating anything at all.
For instance, if you’ve used KPI software to track your company’s performance and want that to be a part of your handbook, create a chart with all that information. Include interactive elements that let you tap into the metric you want to view or analyze.
You could take a similar approach to talk about employee appreciation days and the important points of consideration while rewarding an employee.
4. Always Follow Up
Acknowledgement receipts are an absolute necessity. Your employees should be aware of the document and able to access it whenever they want.
It is recommended to distribute your employee handbook, or at least some useful extracts from it, through a work email. You can always use Gmail as a mail client and save it to your Google Drive to update it in real time.
5. Make It a Part of Your Training Process
Your managers should know the basic information in the handbook like the backs of their hands. They should be able to convey the goals and policies mentioned in the handbook.
Discuss the handbook in your daily webinars with managers and make the process of reading it an important part of your orientation while getting a new manager on board.
These points will get you started in the right direction, but who doesn’t like a little inspiration to get things going?
Keeping that in mind, here are a few companies that have done a brilliant job of creating their go-to employee handbooks.
Great Examples of Employee Handbooks
The following companies have gone the extra mile to come up with some creative ways of making their employee handbooks interesting, engaging, and appealing.
Facebook uses a very direct approach to their handbook. To name a few important observations:
Trello uses its own software to distribute its employee handbook, which is a genius move. A few additional things that make their employee handbook stand out are:
Valve’s employee handbook is all you need to see for getting your first employee handbook on point. These are things that make their handbook unique:
With the right kind of guidance, some professional help, and a little motivation, you’ll be able to create your employee handbook in no time.
Keep the content in your handbook detailed but not monotonous. You want employees to read it thoroughly, not merely skim through it. Therefore, you need to keep them engaged throughout.
Your manual should be able to hold its ground and help you steer your company’s communication in the right direction. Lay out content wisely, keep the information absolutely true, experiment with different ways of distribution (like through email or a CMS platform), and update the information regularly. Follow each step religiously, and you’ll see the difference in no time.
About the Author:
Roman Shvydun writes informative articles mainly about everything related to marketing, business, productivity, workplace culture, etc.
His articles focus on balancing information with SEO needs, but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read. See a few more examples of Roman’s articles by visiting his Twitter.