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May 18, 2021

Putting the Employee Handbook on the Company Intranet

What is an employee handbook?

Employee handbooks can go by different names, such as staff manual, welcome manual or company guidebook. 

Traditionally, back in the day… the employee handbook was a hard copy document that communicated your company’s values, policies and expectations. Employers handed this to employees to clearly explain their rights and responsibilities while they’re employed with the company.

However, gone are the days of employee handbooks looking like huge tomes of corporate spiel – it’s all about getting the message across effectively, using multiple channels.

Benefits of an employee handbook

Onboarding 

A new starter should access the employee handbook on their first day. They are designed to cover everything a new hire needs to know to get started at their job. A well designed employee handbook will increase the newbie’s effectiveness from the get go.

Getting buy-in for the company’s values and strategy

It is important to the success of the business that new employees immediately understand the values, mission and direction that the company is heading 

Defines what is expected of an employee

A well-written handbook provides employees with a clear understanding of the working relationship and emphasises what the organisation expects of them

Ensures key company policies are clearly and consistently communicated

A handbook should accurately communicate a company’s policies regarding employment, conduct and behaviour, compensation and other important policies and procedures.

Provides guidance for supervisors

Employers can use employee handbooks as a way of providing supervisors with guidance on key management policies, such as staff performance and disputes, interviewing and hiring guidelines. 

Ensures employees are aware of their benefits

Let employees know what they are entitled to e.g. health insurance, paid parental leave or any other benefits? 

Helps defend against employee complaints  

A comprehensive and complaint employee handbook will show that the company informed its employees and reaffirms that company policies and procedures were in place at the time of the complaint.

Creating and designing the handbook for your Intranet

It’s very likely that you already have most or all the information you need floating around in multiple destinations, so it may be a matter of pulling it together in an intuitive and appealing way. Key content you will want to consider for inclusion could be some of the following 

Company Background

  • Values, history, mission statement, strategic direction, senior management bios, CEO statement

Employment Fundamentals

  • Contracts, recruitment, equal opportunities, attendance rules

Workplace Policies

  • Confidentiality, harassment, health and safety, working from home

Code of Conduct

  • Dress code, IT security and usage, conflict of interest

Pay, performance and development

  • Payroll, overtime, performance appraisals, training

Benefits and Perks

  • Health care packages, company car, expense policy

Time 

  • Working hours, holidays, sick leave, parental leave

Leaving Employment 

  • Resignation process, retirement, termination, references

Tips and Considerations 

  • Consider directing new staff directly to the handbook for their first few weeks
  • The tone of the voice you use should match your company’s tone and culture.
  • Avoid long, complicated words and technical terms. Minimise business talk and unclear jargon
  • Address the reader in the second person, make good use of the pronouns you, your and yours. Write in a way you may talk to a workmate
  • Add images and videos e.g. images of your everyday life at your office. Include a video message of your CEO. Using engaging pictures and colour palettes from your brand. Inject some fun and humour if you can
  • Keep a record of consent, using must read functionality for the important documents and policies and don’t forget to ask your employees to re-sign when you update or adapt the document. 
  • Keep your employee handbook up to date, we would recommend regular reviews to take into account changes in the law and policy. 

GreenOrbit provides intranet software with everything you need built in - easy to use and easy to manage. Want to know more about GreenOrbit, contact a consultant for a personalized demo. https://greenorbit.com/book-a-demo/

Article written by Toby Milner

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