I have a handbook, but would like to have more of a professional one. I’m not sure if I cover all the areas needed. Could you please advise me on how I should go about this?

Answer:
Employee manual considerations: From a general business perspective, the number of employees, type and number of employee fringe benefit programs, and other factors influence the need for an employee manual. For example, the cost of an employee manual varies based on the number of company policies, type of employee fringe benefit programs, and amount of outside legal review required. Also, many employers with fewer than 10 employees often have condensed employee handbooks that are less costly to prepare.
The handbook can bring about both positives and challenges.

Advantages:

  • Establishing uniform, well-defined standards
  • Creating a vehicle for disseminating the employer’s standards
  • Establishing a common understanding and expectations regarding employer standards
  • Reducing the risk of employee lawsuits

Disadvantages:

  • Fostering management inflexibility
  • Establishing standards to which management does not adhere
  • Engendering workforce dissatisfaction due to imprecise or incomplete language
  • Prompting or supporting employee lawsuits

Employee manual preparation: If you decide to develop an employee manual, you can possibly draft your own document in order to save legal or other HR professional fees since it will only have to be reviewed by a lawyer. To consider the development of a manual for your business, the following is a sample list of possible employee handbook content:

  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and Conflict of Interest Statements
  • Anti-Discrimination Policies
  • Compensation
  • Work Schedules
  • Standards of Conduct
  • General Employment Information
  • Safety and Security
  • Computers and Technology
  • Media Relations
  • Employee Benefits
  • Leave Policies

Employee Handbooks: sba.gov

As to writing a handbook, you can find sample employee handbooks and policy resources for use in drafting your company’s handbook at websites like the following:

Policy resources:

Example handbooks:

Links and references to samples and template documents have been provided pursuant to your request. Templates and sample documents can be very useful but businesses should exercise caution in the use of such documents. Sample employee handbooks for example may not include every topic needed to address your particular fringe benefit programs, compensation plans, and other circumstances. A well-conceived document will, however, be relatively easy to modify, allowing you to add and delete sections as appropriate. Due to the complexity of labor laws, and the potential for liability in such areas as discrimination and confidentiality, we recommend that all employee handbooks and personnel policy statements be reviewed by a qualified labor lawyer.

Angela Cordle
Angela Cordle is the EVP of Tarkenton Financial, a leading insurance marketing firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. In this role, she serves as the Human Resources Director, overseeing the provision of HR services, policies, and programs for the company. She also serves as a BizCoachingOnDemand.com consultant, bringing practical and experiential knowledge of HR best practices to small businesses.