‘How to Guide’ for Employees – Employee Handbook
When you purchase a new piece of equipment, it is likely you will be given a manual or a ‘how to guide’ on setting up and navigating your way around the new equipment. It would not usually be expected that you would understand how to use this equipment safely, quickly and right the first time.
Likewise, when you hire a new employee, they are entering your workplace for the first time and are likely to have limited knowledge about your culture and organisation. Providing them with a ‘how to guide’ or information about your organisation, policies and procedures will support them to navigate and induct their way around your organisation safely, quickly and hopefully right the first time.
Your employee handbook should include all general information, policies and procedures. The benefit of having a handbook separate to your Employment Agreement is that the handbook can be updated, amended and changed at any time. If you wanted to make changes to your Employment Agreement (which includes your employees specific terms and conditions) then you would need to consult with and seek agreement with your employees to do so.
Other benefits of an employee handbook include:
- One stop shop for all your relevant employee information
- Saves time, managers do not need to be constantly asked about issues such as annual leave, payroll, uniform etc. as you can refer them to your employee handbook
- Provides information on your company background and culture
- Details your code of conduct and outlines your employees expectations in regards to this
- Establishes performance standards and processes if these standards aren’t met
Handbooks do not have to be complicated or onerous and can be just a few pages long. I saw a light hearted blog recently which took simplicity to the next level and summarised some handbook sections:
- Health and Safety – look after yourself and those around you.
- Dress code – wear clothes. One’s that suit the job.
- Performance reviews – let’s regularly chat about how you’re doing, how you’re feeling and what you need to be awesome
- IT – remember that we can find anything you’ve done, anything you’ve said and anywhere you have been. If you aren’t sure, ask.
- Performance management – if being awesome is proving difficult, we can help you be that with us or be awesome somewhere else.
If you would like some help putting your employee handbook together, please contact Nicky Dowling