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HR Policies

Tips on Writing a Streamlined Employee Handbook

Every business with employees should have an employee handbook. But what policies should you include? There are literally dozens to consider (I’ve used up to 95!). I favor a streamlined approach – only include what is necessary, in language all employees understand.

Here is what I consider the essential policies for any handbook:

How We Do Things Here

  • A Statement of What Your Company is All About
  • Work Rules

Legal Policies

  • “At Will” Employment
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Reasonable Accommodation
  • Harassment and Discrimination
  • Substance Abuse
  • Workplace Violence
  • Confidentiality
  • Social Media
  • Acknowledgement and Receipt of Handbook

Benefits

  • Eligibility for Benefits
  • Paid Time Off
  • Unpaid Time Off
  • Medical Benefits
  • Other Benefits

How long should your handbook be? When I create streamlined handbooks for clients, I aim for 20 -25 pages. Pictures and illustrations? Yes, feel free to be creative and have some fun. Your employee handbook is a communication tool – use whatever is needed to engage your audience.

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