What is an employee handbook?
Employee handbooks take many different forms, but they essentially consist of a collection of resources, documents, and information distributed to a company's employees. They're often sent out to new hires just before their first day of work in the form of a welcome e-mail. 📩
Employee handbooks are sometimes referred to as company handbooks, employee manuals, or staff manuals. Different employee handbook examples can be found all over the internet, but no two are quite the same. This is because employee handbooks are as different as the companies they represent.
Staff manuals serve tons of different purposes, including but not limited to: fostering a positive workplace culture, building employee loyalty, dealing with office issues, orienting new employees, setting clear expectations, and increasing efficiency.
The contents of employee handbooks vary from company to company, but they often cover topics like: the company's policies and core values, mission statements, the code of conduct, onboarding information, employment policies, employment opportunities, employee benefits & perks, company culture, non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, compensation & work hours, PTO & vacation time, medical leave, dress codes, performance reviews, and termination policies.
Unfortunately, many companies do not use employee handbooks to their full potential (or at all). This is largely because putting them together is a daunting task! Never fear, Slite's got you covered. Keep reading for guidelines, tips and a free employee handbook template. 😎
Why should I put together an employee handbook?
Your company needs an employee handbook because you'll...
- Provide an invaluable resource to new hires. Employee handbooks make a big difference in helping new employees feel welcome when they're hired at a company. They'll get oriented and become productive more quickly, as well as get to know the company culture. New hires will also be able to refer to the handbook and find answers to many of their burning questions.
- Consistently start your employment relationships off on the right foot. Employees will appreciate the open communication and clarity that employee handbooks provide.
- Have a comprehensive, accessible resource for company employees to refer back to whenever necessary. This is an especially useful tool for the human resources department. Employee handbooks are also helpful in addressing employee issues and better yet, mitigating them before they happen. 🙌
- Help build & enrich company culture and foster a positive work environment. Company culture is important because it helps define your company's identity, leads to employee retention, increases employee performance, well-being, and overall satisfaction, attracts new talent, and even contributes to overall company branding.
Slite's free employee handbook template
One of the biggest hurdles that companies face when thinking about putting together an employee handbook is the amount of time and effort it takes. This is understandable as many companies may not realize the importance of employee handbooks before a serious issue comes up and an immediate need presents itself.
By using a Slite template, you don't have to start your employee handbook from scratch. Our employee handbook templates look great, are 100% customizable, will help you save time... and did we mention that they're free?
How can I get started?
Get started customizing your employee handbook template by:
💡 Thinking About The Big Picture
What are the most important things that new hires and company employees should know about their work environment? What core values and ideals do you want to make absolutely clear to them?
✏️ Putting Together A Table Of Contents
This will help you outline all the main points you want to cover and make writing a great employee handbook that much easier.
📝 Establishing Essential Company Information
Make sure you cover the basics: your company's mission, background & history, core values and company policies, general tools & tips, and human resources information.
📢 Making An Outline
Note down the policies that will be most important and relevant to your new hires and company employees. Make sure to cover things like: the code of conduct, anti-harassment, non-discrimination & equal opportunity employment policies, workers' compensation & applicable federal laws, employee benefits (perks, health insurance, PTO & vacation policies), work hours, sick leave policies, substance abuse policies, jury duty policies, social media guidelines, and dress code.
💭 Including Management Resources
This is great for setting clear expectations and precedents for different management situations; vital to any healthy employment relationship. Include additional templates relating to performance reviews, personnel files, meetings, and roles & outcomes.
🙋🏽 Covering Hiring Resources
This section will be vital to new employees and help answer some of their immediate questions! Include information about the onboarding process, employment contract information, human resources, company culture, job description, and evaluation criteria.
Voila! Just like that, you'll be well on your way to putting together the perfect employee handbook. 😎