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HOW TO DEVELOP AN EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK – WHERE TO START

Developing an employee handbook is a big undertaking – especially for a growing business that did not previously have an employee manual, or for businesses that are trying to update an old document. It can be hard to know where to start this sometimes daunting task. We’ve listed some tips to help you kick things off:

Be Clear on your Objectives

Ask yourself: What do you aim to accomplish with your company manual? Are you trying to mitigate legal risk? Or ensure your workforce is compliant with your policies? For example: If you are a retail business, your handbook can ensure employees comply with important labour and safety codes and regulations. A goal may be to ensure all employees understand an important part of your onboarding and training process. Another goal maybe to introduce new hires to your company and culture. Your manual can also ensure consistency and fairness with rules and processes around covering shifts, booking time off and lots more. (Learn more about Employee Handbooks for Retail.) Once you have clearly defined the objectives of your employee handbook, this will act as your outline so you can address these goals more easily in your manual.

Get the Team on Board

It is vital to ensure that management, board members, investors and other key stakeholders are aligned on the objectives and development plan of your employee handbook. Engage the right people and service providers before you publish this manual. This may mean engaging a labour lawyer or HR consultant if such resources aren’t available to you internally. It is extremely important that the employee handbook is reviewed by a lawyer with expertise in labour laws in your state/province before this manual is published and distributed. Lastly, it is a great idea to engage your most important stakeholders – your employees! (Learn more: Let Employees Help Develop Your Employee Handbook)

Source the Best Tools

It is also highly recommended to take advantage of technology and innovative apps to streamline the process and digitize your manual (Read: How to Bring your Employee Handbook into the 21st Century). For instance, AirMason helps you get started with online templates specifically for agencies, businesses and more. Answer simple questions on your organization’s location, size, policies for paid holidays, medical insurance, etc. and AirMason will develop your manual’s first version. From there, you can customize your design and content with our easy-to-use editor. Publish your manual online, or export as a PDF. Get started today for free at AirMason.com!