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The ins and outs of an employee’s handbook

An employee handbook is a great communication tool that can be used by businesses to convey their culture and values to new and current employees. It is important that it inspires one to read it instead of being a bland and boring document which people sign for but never read. Your handbook should answer two simple questions: Why do you I want to work here? and why do I want to continue working here? Here are some helpful tips to consider when creating an employee’s handbook.

Name it something different.
When considering naming your employee handbook try to be original. Instead of “employee handbook” try to think outside of the box and name it something different which reflects the culture of your business. You could call it “Our culture book” or “Our How-to book”.

Revise the handbook every year.
It is important to go through the handbook every year and change outdated policies or values. Always make your employees aware of the changes in your handbook.

Ensure the content is company specific.
When you start the handbook make sure your mission statement is the first thing your employees see as this will create the overall atmosphere for the book. Highlight the perks and benefits of working for you near the beginning of the book and then put in the policies required by law and your other company policies.

Make sure it is checked by a lawyer.
When creating your employee handbook, it is essential that you have a lawyer go through the document to ensure that you are not break any labour laws in the production of your document.

When compiling your employee handbook here are some sections to consider putting into your document.

General employment polices

In this part of the document, you will highlight the basic policies in your company and how they apply to your employee.

Employment status

In this section, you will advise about the various types of employment status involved in your business. For example: introductory period, freelancers, part-time and full-time employees.

Recruiting and hiring

This section of the document will highlight how you recruit new staff members into your business. You will also give a brief description of the positions in the organisation.

Compensation and salary administration

This part of the handbook discusses how the salaries are administered. If your company uses timesheets you could put an example of the timesheet in here and how it should be filled out.

General workplace policies

This section of the handbook will highlight your policies with regard to working hours, what are the company’s expectations with regard to attendance and punctuality. Polices on drugs and smoking in the workplace. What your employee should do if the are offered gifts or gratuities for services that are rendered.

Employee benefit programme

You will want to highlight the various benefits that the employee gets regarding medical aid, pension fund, travel allowance and if you offer assistance with further education


Having guidelines on how the various types of leave work will give your employee assistance when it comes to managing their leave.

Organizational property and technology

Every company has different ways to deal with how the employees may use technology for personal and business use. It is important to have a social media policy as well as a document retention policy so that your employees are aware of what they can and can’t do.

Employee performance and workplace conduct

In this section of the handbook, you will highlight how you expect your employee to behave while at work and what you would consider misconduct.

Employee handbook acknowledgement form

Go ahead and create a fantastic handbook which will have people rushing to be part of your great organisation.

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