The importance of the employee manual

Most corporate employers have an employee handbook, but many don’t realize how important it is to their business. On the other hand, smaller companies often don’t have a company manual when they definitely should have one.

The employer handbook can be a great resource in case of disputes that arise between employees and management.

In addition to outlining policies on topics such as break times, dress code, and benefits, the book should also provide information on things like workplace safety and harassment prevention. Employees need to know what they are getting into when they start a new job, so having a comprehensive employee handbook can help them understand what is expected of them at work.

When hiring someone new or transferring them from one position to another within your company, it is always a good practice to offer a copy of the employee handbook before going over any other paperwork with the employee. This is a good time to go over the manual with them and answer any questions they may have about the policies outlined in it.

Anyone who has worked for your company should already have a copy of the manual.

What is an employee handbook?

An employee handbook is a set of guidelines and policies that govern the management and conduct of employees and management within a company. For example, the manual generally sets out the expectations and values ​​of the organization and information on how to dress or what to do in an emergency.

It also details disciplinary procedures for staff who violate policies, including warnings, firings, and criminal prosecution. But, more commonly, it is managers, executives, and attorneys who write the manual.

Why is an employee manual important in a business environment?

An employee manual is important in a business environment. Provides employees with guidelines and policies that govern their employment. The manual generally sets expectations, such as how to dress or what to do in an emergency.

It also includes disciplinary procedures for staff who violate policies, including warnings, terminations, and criminal prosecution. This helps everyone understand what is expected of them. It also makes it easier to fire (and hire, too!) People by clearly outlining the rules. Again, this reduces the liability of an organization.

How does an employee manual affect an organization?

An employee handbook allows companies to communicate with their employees. It helps the company protect itself from legal liability by clarifying how the company or business wants its staff to behave in certain scenarios. Additionally, a manual can provide a reference point for managers on disciplinary procedures, while maintaining consistency across the organization.

For example, it can help managers decide whether to warn an employee before disciplining him or whether he should be fired immediately. It also helps employees know what is expected of them and how their behavior affects the workplace. In addition to procedural information, the manual can help with engagement, motivation, and burnout prevention, even in the most demanding industries.

What Should An Employee Handbook Include

An employee handbook should include:

  • What the company expects of the employee in terms of dress code and conduct.

An employee handbook should include what the company expects of the employee regarding dress code and conduct. Set expectations for employees. If a company does not set expectations, confusion can arise. Confusion can occur when an employee begins to ask questions about what is allowed or not in the workplace.

A manual keeps information clear and concise by providing a point of reference for managers on disciplinary procedures.

The manual helps maintain consistency throughout the organization. It also makes it clear to employees what is expected of them and how their behavior is monitored in the workplace.

  • How to handle emergencies or disciplinary procedures when an employee does not follow the rules outlined in their handbook

Employees will now know what an emergency is, how to report it, and who they can and should contact in the event of an emergency. The manual should also contain how disciplinary procedures are handled.

  • Whether workers can work from home or not

The employee handbook can help prevent misunderstandings in most company or business matters.

The manual will answer questions about whether or not workers can work or stay when they return home. For example, if a specific piece of equipment does not allow working from home or taking equipment home, it should be noted in the manual.

The company may also want to specify whether it is necessary for an employee to travel. It is also worth noting if there are restrictions on work-related activities outside of office hours. These questions are very pertinent in many industries.

  • What technology is prohibited in the workplace?

Defining what technology is allowed or not at work can help ensure that employees are complying with company policy. It can also help show that employers are reasonable. Also, this paragraph can make the employee feel like they will still have some freedom outside of work hours.

  • Medical leave and paid vacation policy

An employee should be aware of the employer’s policies regarding medical leave and paid vacation.

Knowing and understanding the policy can help employees feel more secure about their work environment if they know that the employer considers other aspects outside of their working hours.

The manual can also provide general information about what is not allowed in the workplace, including social media or other non-work related tasks outside of office hours.

Employees need to know who to contact when there is a problem in the workplace.

If an employee or lower management doesn’t know who to talk to or how to make a complaint, it can affect their job performance and morale. Therefore, the manual should include a step-by-step process of what to do and when scenarios. With these explanations in place and clearly written, employees can feel secure knowing that someone listens to their concerns and ultimately addresses them.

In addition to filing a complaint, your manual should state how and where to give feedback to employees.

Employees should be aware of your company’s code of conduct and what the consequences are if they violate it. Additionally, a code of conduct can help an employee feel that the employer is sensible in setting standards of treatment and professionalism.

  • Fight against harassment and retaliation

One of the crucial aspects of an employee handbook is to include information on fighting harassment and retaliation.

All employees should know that they are free from harassment or retaliation when it comes to their work environment. This information makes people feel more secure in their workplace and, in turn, makes them more productive in their tasks. An employee will also feel like they don’t have to worry about anything regarding their job security because employers consider these things in an employee handbook.

  • What benefits does your organization offer, such as health insurance or alternative work arrangements?

Having information about health insurance, savings plans and alternative work situations can be important because an employee can make a bad subjective decision when it comes to their work situation.

For example, they may decide not to accept a promotion or accept a job offer because they are disqualified from the benefit the company offers. Therefore, it is beneficial to have this information in the manual so that employees do not have to ask these questions, which puts additional stress on these types of decisions.

All the questions are right there in the Employee Handbook, where they should be.

  • Any additional disclaimer

When writing an employee handbook, it is important to include any disclaimers you deem necessary. For example, some organizations may choose to include a disclaimer about their commitment to the environment. Others may have a disclaimer for certain situations.

Most beneficial in the Employee Handbook is a statement of company values ​​and an acknowledgment or affirmation of your commitment to treating people with honesty and respect. Some companies may want to give examples of how to follow the company’s set of values.

Almost anything that fits your company values ​​can be included in your Employee Handbook.

How to make your Employee Handbook easy to read and understand

You need to include explanations that are easy to read and understand so that the employee handbook is not difficult to follow.

If your Employee Handbook is too difficult to read, or too long, people will not read it or they will only read the information and some important details will be missed.

You can also classify some of your rules into different sections so that people only have to look at specific parts of the manual rather than read the whole thing.

It is also important to make sure it is pleasing to the eye. You can use bullets, titles, subtitles, and images to make your employee manual easier to read. Any part of your manual that helps with readability issues will help your people understand the rules more efficiently.

You want your employees to be able to follow your organization’s policies as easily as possible, and you can give examples in your manual.

What to do if someone violates the manual’s rules

When someone violates the rules of the manual, management must reprimand in some way. If possible, try to help the employee understand why they made a mistake and what they should do instead. Some examples should already be in your manual as an illustration of what you expect from the behaviors.

When a leader or manager can explain what went wrong and how to correct behavior, this procedure is helpful to both management and employee. It shows that you are willing to work with them to improve in the future. It may also be helpful to offer an alternative action so that this does not happen again in the future.

Finally, the Employee Handbook is a dynamic document

As your business grows and changes, it is important to make sure you update your employee handbook accordingly. This includes:

  • Add new services or products.
  • Highlighting specific company values ​​that have not been mentioned before.
  • Changing benefits associated with bringing potential employees into the organization.

Digitizing the manual is also a good idea. Digitization will make it easier for employees to read. You can also have a digital copy for new hires to verify that they have read the information in the Employee Handbook as part of their onboarding process. This process will avoid many questions and problems in the future.


We hope this article has provided you with useful information on the importance of having an Employee Handbook. An employee handbook can help your company clarify its policies for employees. Answer any questions your employees may have about their work environment or daily tasks. An Employee Handbook saves a lot of time and avoids a lot of uncertainties on both sides; it’s a great thing to have as a staple in your business.

Image credit: provided by the author; simple corrugated bus; freepik; Thank you!

Milosz Krasinski

Managing Director of London-based boutique digital PR agency Chilli Fruit Web Consulting. Co-Founder of Sigma Digital Oxford. International SEO consultant, speaker. Sometimes blog at

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