What Should an Employee Handbook Contain?

What Should an Employee Handbook Contain

Whether an employee is new to the organization or a seasoned member of the team, they want a source for work-related regulations and data. A customized employee handbook can benefit any company, regardless of sector. The substance of an employee handbook is frequently a source of worry for HR practitioners and managerial staff, but the data it contains influences each staff member.

In this blog entry, we discuss what must be contained in an employee handbook, as well as tips for creating your own.

What must an employee handbook contain?

An employee handbook includes crucial details about corporate rules, legal requisites for the business and its workers, federal and state labor regulations, as well as other office reference books.

This file could also assist you in developing your corporate culture and communicating your corporate values to teammates.

The following are the most essential segments of an employee handbook:

Processes for new hires and welcome

The first segment of your employee handbook should contain a welcome letter from the president of the company or another business leader, which establishes the tone for the handbook. Use this segment to connect with the staff by taking this opportunity to thank them for choosing to join your group. You might also write a remark of appreciation to old staff members who are obtaining a revised handbook or going over their handbook for clarity.

Next, discuss what a newly recruited staff can anticipate when they start working. Highlight any probation period that employees must go through before becoming completely engaged in the organization. You might provide specific information about authentication prerequisites in the facility, the location of the organization, and data on parking and transportation to and from the office.

Data about the organization

Some other crucial segments to incorporate at the start of your employee handbook are those that explain the organization and its ethics, such as the details provided:

  • Company background: Discuss how the organization began and how it has developed. Staff feels attached to a bigger narrative when they are aware of the organization’s business.
  • The mission of the organization: Discuss the organization’s values by giving a structured statement of what the business does and the reasons for doing it. Demonstrating to employees that you have a larger purpose in sight than the everyday activities of a profession also helps to humanize the organization.
  • Organizational Principles: Here is where you can discuss the organization’s guiding principles and values. You also could set the bar for how the staff can demonstrate these principles at work.
  • Work culture: Explain your job environment by providing proclamations concerning how it feels to be a member of your organization. Also, explain how you foster a positive work environment.

Guidelines and culture at the organization

A large percentage of your employee handbook could contain policies governing routine duties while they’re on the job. This is also the place you provide the most essential company processes and patterns of behavior, like:

  • Standards of ethics: Make a section of your handbook dedicated to introducing an employee conduct code. Establish clear instructions for appropriate behavior in the workplace.
  • Hour shifts: Include any exclusions for remote or adaptable hours for staff members who work at the office. Discuss how staff members are using the time format as well as how the organization tracks working days both for salaried and hourly roles.
  • Attendance: Establish attendance standards, such as guidelines for lateness and early departure. Here’s where you spread information about your demands in special conditions and who they should contact in either case.
  • Dress code: Regardless of whether your sector needs special safety equipment or you prefer formal wear inside the office, be certain about your firm’s outfit regulations. Including general expectations rather than a collection of regulations is beneficial. For example, make it a rule that all clothing must be nice and clean. Appropriate dress styles can also be defined, such as casual wear.
  • Breaks and meal times: Inform staff members of your company’s policy regarding the duration and frequency of break times and mealtimes. Information about business break rooms with social facilities such as water pipes, fridges, and drink machines can also be provided.
  • Technology consumption: A corporate policy governing the proper use of technologies in the office environment, such as computer software, the web, and individual technology such as mobile phones, may be beneficial. This policy should describe how staff members utilize technology in the workplace for personal and professional purposes.
  • Drug consumption and smoking: Provide company rules related to drug use in this segment, as well as rules for smokers. Indicate where staff members can smoke and when they can take cigarette breaks during shift work.

Legal prerequisites

Specific legal declarations must be included in your employee handbook to ensure that both sides know their rights while at work. State and federal laws, and also job-related and handbook-specific clauses, must be included.

Examine your government’s performance standards to ensure that your business covers all required topics. To remain in line with the regulations, you must provide the information listed below in your handbook:

  • The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Every company is required by both federal and state laws to provide leave for having a baby, caring for a close relative, or for an ailment.
  • Laborer’s remuneration: In several states, employers are required to publish laws highlighting what occurs if a staff member is injured on the job.
  • Non-discrimination and employment equity regulations: United States Labor Department places a duty on employers to acknowledge that they follow these recruitment and equitable treatment protocols.
  • Disabilities: Businesses usually discuss how they cater to individuals with disabilities at work and during the recruiting process.
  • Not an agreement: Provide a section indicating that your employee handbook isn’t an agreement for the staff and stating that the position can be terminated at any moment by either party.
  • Changes are possible: Include a declaration stating that the guidelines in the book are subject to modification at any time. Declare your intention to inform staff of a modification in corporate policy.
  • Employee recognition: Workers, virtual or on paper, sign a statement stating that they have obtained and fully comprehend the handbook. This acknowledgment also affirms that they know they must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the handbook.

Regulations on paid time off

An employee handbook informs employees about the way the organization manages time off. Provide guidelines for requesting time off and informing supervisors of sick leave. For instance, if the company needs staff to submit holiday applications two weeks prior, state this and discuss how this can be accomplished.

Discuss if sick and holiday times are rolled into one number of days or if they pile up in different banks. You could also provide a collection of paid holidays observed by the organization.


If you have an in-house human resources department or contract with some other firm, use your employee handbook to highlight the incentives your organization offers. Explain any healthcare coverage, retirement accounts, or insurance policies that may be accessible to staff members.

Include the amount that the organization contributes to a scheme, if relevant. Because perks are more likely to be updated than other sections of your handbook, it’s better to provide a summary with guidelines on where to find the most up-to-date information.

Promotions and remuneration

Use this part of your employee handbook to provide detailed information concerning when and how employees are paid. Provide data concerning additional pay, such as share options or bonus payments, in this section. In this section of the handbook, you must also discuss how the organization manages growth and promotions.

Performance criteria

Employee handbooks frequently include details concerning the procedure of job performance evaluations and reviews. Describe why you think evaluations are essential. After that, describe your procedure and offer timeframes about when these evaluations will take place.

If necessary, offer the benchmarks used to evaluate employee performance. If staff members have job-specific queries concerning the assessment process, you can refer them to administration or human resources.

Policies regarding disciplinary action and termination

It is critical to precisely identify the behavior that necessitates disciplinary measures so that staff members can modify their behavior to conform to the administration’s expectations.

Your handbook could clarify every phase of the disciplinary procedure as well as how the final disciplinary phase results in employment termination. This segment could include data on how staff members could file a complaint if they think they are being treated unfairly.

Workplace safety and health

A strong employee handbook could specify that worker protection is critical. Your handbook must cover safety protocols such as what should be done in the event of a fire or other workplace conflict. It could be useful to include information about firefighting equipment, first aid, and emergency evacuation in your handbook. If you conduct periodic emergency procedures, you may include a timetable so workers can prepare.

Supplementary materials

Use the final part of your handbook to discuss any additional regulations or data that your staff members require. You might include agency contact details or links to federal and state workplace laws. You could also provide a glossary of terms related to your organization or a database of the business’s roles.