For large and medium-sized businesses alike, the Employee Handbook is a common Management
Communications Tool. That said, even the smallest businesses will often compile a written summary of general policies and guidelines for their employees.
As a Business Writing Exercise, putting together an Employee Handbook is a reasonably straightforward process. Granted, the overall design will vary according to a company’s size and budget, but whether a handbook is plain or fancy, the end product should stand as a clear and useful reference of policies and services that relate to all levels of employees. .
This sounds simple enough, but there is a caveat. Employee Handbooks have been the source of legal concerns with respect to “Employment At Will” Issues. (This basically has to do with the legal argument that an Employee Handbook may infer the creation of an Employment Contract).
Suffice it to say, that writers and developers of Employee Handbooks, especially in the U.S., should confer with appropriate legal counsel prior to finalizing and distributing a new or updated handbook.
Getting back to the task of writing, the first order of business is to decide on the topics to be included in the handbook.Obviously, the contents of handbooks will vary from company to company, but there are universal topics that should be part of any Employee Handbook. Some of these include the following:
* Overview of Company History and Philosophy
* Equal Opportunity Statement
* Work Rules
* Absenteeism and Lateness Policies
* Pay and Salary Policies
* Vacations, Holidays, Leaves
* Performance Evaluation
* Employee Relations
* Employee Services
The next step for the writer is to review pertinent policies, guidelines, mission statements, and existing company histories.
For the most part, these communications will serve as the primary sources for compiling the handbook. However, it should be noted that if a written source does not exist, or is out-of-date, the writer will have to coordinate with the appropriate content experts or authorities in order to create or update such a document.
From here, it is basically a task of summarizing, organizing, and packaging information. Of course, the process can be very labor-intensive, and the initial draft will no doubt go through many reviews and revisions. But in the end, the finished handbook should be factual, consistent with policy, and easy to read.
An Internet Search will yield many useful desktop and on line resources to help you get started. Additionally, you will find numerous Handbook Templates that will help you expedite the writing process.