We have been asked many times by small business owners whether they should have an employee handbook.
A handbook is not enforced by law, there are actually only 2 HR policies which you need to give to your employees by law – disciplinary and grievance policies.
Employee handbooks are still important but they should be engaging, contain relevant information and never cause employees to fall asleep whilst reading it. We have worked with a number of companies recently to think about why they should have a handbook and in which format.
Here are your options: Using a SharePoint site – add individual polices to this rather than having a specific employee handbook. It will be easier to navigate and keep updated. This is a good option if employees have company email addresses and if you already use SP folders. The advantage of this option is that all employees can access the site but you can not track if they have read and understood the policies.
A HR System – HR policies can be added to this and you can track if they have been read and you can post updates to the policies with ease. A HR System has other great benefits too!
An employee handbook created on Canva – this is great cost-effective visual option. You’d need to save the HR policies on a SP site (or similar) and include links to them.
An e-learning module (see top photo)– this is a modern option and can be easily updated. You can showcase the company culture and also use it as part of the induction period. If you recruit employees on a regular basis, this option is for you.
If you don’t have a SP site or a HR system, have a printed handbook to keep on your premises and encourage your employees to read through it during quiet periods. Use the handbook for reference and for employees to check if they have questions on any ways of working.
What should be in a Handbook? * An introduction to your company. * Ways of working e.g. hours of work, uniform, taking breaks, claiming expenses, how to book leave. * HR policies such as disciplinary, grievance and family friendly policies such as maternity and paternity.
We hope this summary has helped. If you’d like me to review your current handbook or discuss the options in more detail or if you are interested in a HR system or E learning module, please get in touch!
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