Your employee handbook isn’t just a list of stodgy rules – it’s a dynamic embodiment of your organisation’s values and future. Shape it in the right way, and you’ll be inspiring new hires and supporting your existing team in the ways that matter. So, how to write an employee handbook for the modern workplace?
Amongst the many policies that can guide your workforce, be sure to include the following must-have policies in your employee handbook contents.
- Your mission and vision statements
Get your employees on board with your overall objectives – that is, why the organisation exists – and you could see benefits ranging from higher employee engagement to greater efficiency. Time spent refining and communicating your mission and vision statements will not be time wasted.
- The workplace Code of Conduct Your Code of Conduct drives both the expectations for your workplace and provides a clear benchmark of ethical principles to refer to, if someone is falling short. What are the standards of behaviour expected within the organisation? What’s appropriate and what isn’t?
- Your equal opportunity statement and policies
This is your chance to make clear the organisation’s commitment to (and support for) equal opportunity. This section will typically outline an anti-discrimination policy, disability access and inclusion policy, as well as the workplace-specific support systems in place for these.
- Performance management policies and framework This section will likely be referred to regularly by employees, so it’s important to spend time getting it right. What are the key roles and responsibilities for the employee, and how will performance be managed? What is the framework for professional development, raises, discipline and counselling?
- Workplace health and safety (WHS) policies
These of course are a must-have for any workplace and a great opportunity to demonstrate your dedication to employee safety. The handbook should ideally cover off details on health and safety training, specific WHS policies as well as support resources for employee wellbeing and mental health.
- Communication policies Communication policies have become increasingly important given most of us are online – and may also be representing our workplaces online in some capacity. Set out expectations for email, instant messaging and social media channels, and be clear on strict customer or client privacy policies.
- Bullying & harassment policies All of these employment policies must be supported by a clear and accessible support system for employees in case they ever feel harassed, bullied or discriminated against. Be sure to set out your complaints and grievance procedures with clarity, stressing that matters will be handled confidentially and tactfully.
If you’re in the process of reviewing your employee handbook, or would like to ensure that your policies are up-to-date and included according to best practices, PerformHR’s workplace relations services can help to redefine your HR processes. To work with our expert team on an ongoing or as-needed basis, contact us today in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Newcastle or Parramatta.