Everything you need to know about the employee handbook

maintain an employee handbook


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In order to build a healthy environment in the workplace with an organized culture, every employer needs to build and maintain an employee handbook with clear norms and processes written in it. Writing a handbook might not as easy as it sounds, but it is fundamental for every company to have it.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the employee handbook, its importance in the workplace, and the steps you have to follow in order to build it. Moreover, you will also learn about the essential elements that will shape the relationship between the company and the employees. Let’s observe:

1. What is exactly an employee handbook?

2. The importance of maintaining an employee handbook.

3. How to write an employee handbook efficiently?

4. What is a good example of an employee handbook for a company?

5. How can Connect Resources help you get more information about the employee handbook?


1. What is exactly an employee handbook?

After the hiring process is done, the next step to introduce new employees into your company will be letting them know about the employee handbook, which is a manual that sets rules, norms, culture, and vision of your company, but also an element that establishes how should be the relationship between employers and employees.

Everything related to your employees will be written in this handbook, including policies, perks, compensation, benefits, appropriate and safe work environment, and many other things. Having this handbook is mandatory in almost every country, which means that not having it may bring several troubles to your company in a matter of time.

Whether you own a big or a small company, you always need to have your employee handbook up-to-date with the latest norms, rules, and policies. Besides, you need to keep in mind that you also need an effective human resources department in order to maintain ensure efficiency in your company.

In many cases, employers tend to forget this important detail when hiring new candidates because they do not think about the importance it has regarding the legal area. If you do not want to go through a situation because of the absence of an effective employee handbook, you will do well if you learn everything related to it.

2. The importance of maintaining an employee handbook

Every company has different functions, operations, and rules, but all of them have a common goal, which is achieving success. One of the main things that this goal requires is having a healthy relationship with employees, besides having an efficient HR department that is crucial for the COVID-19 world we live in.

If you want to start improving the environment in the workplace, you need to understand the importance of having an employee handbook. The main function of this tool is to communicate the company’s needs to your employees once they are hired. Through this element, you will communicate the following business affairs:

  • Your company’s expectations: all employees need guidance during their first days, and this handbook will transmit to them what the company expects from them. Setting clear rules and expectations will reduce confusion and help your employees get used to the daily routine in the company, developing appropriate behaviors and the skills that the company expects from them.
  • The benefits that your employees will receive: every detail related to your employees will be written in this handbook, including everything related to their salaries, benefits, compensation, and many other things. Among the benefits, you need to include requesting vacation, sick leave, time off situation, and any other related element.
  • The values of your organization: among other valuable information you need to transmit to your employees during their introduction, your company’s core values need to be clearly established along with the purpose and vision of the organization. See this as an opportunity to explain better all these affairs to your employees.
  • Support in difficult situations: whenever your employees struggle or demonstrate any inconvenience or doubt, they can appeal to the employee handbook and let their employers know about their discomfort, complaints, or concerns.  This way, they know they can count on this resource to express everything they need regarding their jobs.
  • Protection and safety: your employees and employers will be protected against unfair treatment claims, discrimination, or any other unacceptable practices or dangerous situations they might get into.

Nowadays, it is even more important to set clear rules and guidelines for employees in the COVID-19 pandemic, for the safety of both employees and employers. Legal obligations will help protect the company from this dangerous disease, and you will have to write them clearly in your employee handbook, at least until the worldwide emergency is over.

3. How to write an employee handbook efficiently?

Now that you have the importance of this essential resource, let’s see how to write an employee handbook for your company in the most efficient way. You do not need to re-invent the recipe; you can always take a look at different examples or get request help from professional HR managers.

In case you want to personalize your handbook and do it by yourself with enough tips and recommendations, let’s take a look at the following suggestions to get started. Take into account that some rules and policies are standard for every company, but some others depend on the type of company you have and the tasks that your employees will do.

3.1. Make sure to write the current company policies and norms.

Just like every other procedure and operations inside the company, the employee handbook needs to be up-to-date with the current policies that are implemented in every company in the country. Ensure a good development and implementation of these policies, and you can start doing this by writing them in your handbook.

If you are in the country of the United Arab Emirates, you should check on the business regulations and laws that are applied in the territory, including federal decrees and any other related mandatory. You can always check on the official website of the UAE to get more information and guidance on this affair.

3.2. Summarize policies and procedures to make it easier to analyze and understand.

Some employees might find it a little hard to understand policies and laws if their employers do not explain them in the employee handbook. If you want your new employees to quickly understand these matters, you can do a summary of these elements and make them easy to read for everyone.

Having a precise summary of laws and policies will make the introduction easier and will also help you save your time by skipping time-consuming explanations, without necessarily skipping this important procedure that is also mandatory for you as an employer. Moreover, your employees will adapt to your company’s norms without having complications or inconveniences.

3.3. Keep in mind the elements you need to include in the employee handbook.

Besides policies and regulations, there are many other topics you need to cover when you design your handbook and welcome new candidates to your company. If you are still asking yourself what to include in an employee handbook, let’s start by mentioning the basic elements that must be written here:

  • Code of conduct: in this section of the handbook, your employees will learn everything regarding ethics and compliance. Basic information must include a code of ethics, workplace safety, dress code and grooming standards, and attendance requirements. It is necessary to let your employees know the consequences if they do not follow this important information.
  • Communications policy: this one includes everything related to the appropriate use of technological resources, including laptops, cellphones, or any other device. In many companies, the employees usually abuse these benefits and use them to make personal affairs, like personal calls, texting friends, storing photos, posting on social media, and more. Set this policy clearly from the beginning to avoid situations like these.
  • Nondiscrimination policy: make your new employees understand that your company will not tolerate any unfair practices, harassment, or discrimination in the workplace. Some of the most common cases are regarding age, color, race, pregnancy, disability, or religion of a person, but the policy covers more unfair cases besides these ones.
  • Compensation and benefits policy: take into account that the true cost of an employee includes more than the main salary, but also compensation and benefits. Let your employees know about these perks that they will receive during their stay in the company, and the best to do it is through the employee handbook.
  • New hire and separation policy: basic terms of employment and related information must be provided to your employees, including the expectations they will aim for when they leave the company. Some details regarding this section are the eligibility for benefits, transfer and relocation, frequency of payment periods, referrals (in case you reward employees when they refer to valuable talent for your company), among others.
  • Acknowledgment of receipt: and finally, you will need to make sure your employees understand the terms and policies that your company manages, and the best to do it is making them sign the document once they read it and agree with it.

4. What is a good example of an employee handbook for a company?

If you need more guidance to organize a remarkable employee handbook, take a look at this following example of a standard structure for this document:

  • Welcome message to new employees: including company mission statement, equal opportunity statement, the purpose of the employee handbook, and background information of the company.
  • Policies and procedures: including personal safety, sexual harassment, violence and weapons, drugs and alcohol, work hours, meals and rest periods, attendance, payroll deductions, paydays, overtime, performance reviews, promotions, telephone and internet usage, among other details.
  • Employee benefits: including holidays, vacation, sick/disability/personal leave, jury duty, family and medical leave, paid time off, training, health insurance, life insurance, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, retirement and pension plans, educational assistance program, and more.
  • Employee and employer responsibility for safety in the workplace: including commitment of the company, medical services, emergency procedures, personal protective equipment, among others.
  • Procedures inside the company: standards of conduct, progressive discipline, and exit process.
  • Summary and acknowledgment: it includes the importance of the procedures and policies of the company and the acknowledgment of receipt.

Keep in mind that it needs to contain up-to-date information for your employees, which means that the handbook will go through constant modifications if it is necessary. It will depend on the regulations, laws, and policies that are applied in the country.

5. How can Connect Resources help you get more information about the employee handbook?

Connect Resources

Now that you know the importance and of this element in your company, you better start designing your own employee handbook to introduce new employees with all the information they need to work properly. Our Connect Resources team can help obtain more details about this affair in case you need it.

Besides getting professional advice with our help, you can also request our services to make outstanding improvements in your company regarding your human resources department, just like HR consultancy services and many more. We will guide until you feel you have satisfied your needs. PEO services can also handle all of your HR needs, which is a very useful alternative.

Many other services will be convenient for you and your employees and will boost your company to a new level with better efficiency. Among these services, you can find payroll outsourcing services, which will bring you several benefits. Besides, you can read more about the ways payroll outsourcing can help you have efficient employee management in your company.

Would you like to contact Connect Resources to learn more about the employee handbook resource and the way you can improve your employee management with it? You can call at +971 433 166 88 or send an email to contact@connectresources.ae, and you will talk to one of their representatives that will gladly answer all of your questions.

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