5 Tips for Writing an Effective Employee Handbook
Every business, large or small, needs to have an employee handbook so that everyone understands what is expected of them and what they can expect from their employer. There are many ways to go about writing these documents, one for every business out there, but we have a few tips to get you started.
1. Clear Writing. The document needs to be written in such a way that everyone can understand. Avoid unnecessary jargon and make sure that the grammar is double-checked. Try to use specific terms consistently, even if that means being a little repetitious – synonyms don’t always convey the precise meaning you have and can muddy the water. Ambiguity can undermine your intentions.
2. Organization. In order to ensure that employees use the book, organize it in a logical way that will make it accessible to everyone. Include an introduction to the book that will explain any particular conventions that are used throughout the book. Above all, make sure that all headers, subheads, key terms, etc. are formatted in a uniform manner.
3. Know Your Audience. If your employees are a team of engineers, they will appreciate technical terms. If you are writing for construction workers, they will likely be put off by elegant language. Make this assessment based on what you know about your workers. When you give them a document that is written for them to read, they will read it.
4. Updates. Companies change and grow, so should your employee handbook. If the book becomes old and out of date, there will be little point in printing it off for a new employee. Keep a file of notes where you keep track of how effective the manual truly is. Seek to do a thorough review of the manual at least once per year; adding any new or revised employment laws. Consult with your employees in this process. If they have a voice in the guidelines they work under, they will be all the happier in the workplace.
5. Reference Outside Documents. Your healthcare benefits package, for instance, is a rather large document that does not need to be included in the handbook. Rather, include the guidelines that govern qualifying for such benefits and make reference to the other document so that it doesn’t weigh down the core guidelines for employment with your company.
We love putting employee handbooks together and would love to help you. Call us today!