Keeping an updated employee handbook can help your company resolve many human resources problems before they start. An employee handbook is a document that details company policies and procedures as well as the mission statement, values, and employee benefits at your organization. This makes it easy for employees and leaders alike to understand what is expected of them in their work. It also gives clear guidelines for behavior at work that can reduce company liability if anything happens.

When Should a Business Have an Employee Handbook?

If you have employees, you should have an employee handbook. It’s always good to have the clarity that an employee handbook provides for you and your employees, whether you have one employee or hundreds of employees.

Creating an Employee Handbook

Which policies should be included?

There are a few policies you should always address in your employee handbook. These include policies that employees need to know about like hiring, wage payment, overtime, PTO, safety, drug testing, termination. and more. Additionally, you should include information related to laws that affect your company and employees such as ADA or FMLA if applicable. Some employers also choose to cover employee behavior and confidentiality policies when applicable.

Which policies should not be included?

While few policies are specifically illegal or bad to include in an employee handbook, there are some that may require a separate, more legally binding document. This can include things such as non-disclosure agreements or at-will employment statements. Additionally, since an employee handbook isn’t legally binding, make sure to remove complicated legal language and any absolutes. The handbook should be a guide to company policies and procedures and create clarity, not more confusion.

Final steps:

Once you know what you would like to include in your handbook, then you can start putting it together. Make the handbook easily understandable by using simple language and giving it a table of contents. After you have completed your employee handbook, you need to provide it to all employees. Allow them to read the policies and ask any questions. This can be done by giving employees a physical copy or by making an electronic version of the employee handbook readily available, whichever works best for you.

Want Help with Your Employee Handbook?

Helpside has decades of experience in human resources and employee management. If you have questions about employee handbooks, reach out to Helpside at to talk with one of our experts.