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What should be included in an employee handbook?

The employee handbook is the definitive bible for incoming and existing workers. It contains information on company culture, behavior, dress, grooming, and many other important subjects. A well-written handbook ensures employees have the information they need to thrive in a specific work environment. For an employee handbook to have the greatest impact on staff, Gusto recommends including the following policies. 

Hiring practices

Workers must know what to expect at the outset of their hiring. For instance, is the company offering at-will employment? This means that employment can be terminated at any time for any reason not deemed discriminatory, or even for no reason at all. Also, is the worker being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement? These are put in place to prevent employees from disclosing sensitive proprietary information to others. There should also be a statement that the workplace is an equal opportunity employer, meaning discriminatory practices are not used for hiring, firing, or any other areas. 

Decorum

How are workers expected to conduct themselves on a daily basis? Office decorum is a huge component of employee handbooks, as employees must know what is and is not permitted within the place of work. Office decorum covers things like the employee dress code, which should have a solid reason and be applied to all workers equally, even if there are differences between dress codes for men and women. Behavior is another important topic. Workers must be aware that harassing or discriminatory behaviors will not be tolerated. They should also know how to report issues should any arise. 

Office goings-on

Lastly, handbooks must include basic details on office life. How long is a single shift? Will workers be expected to use company equipment and machinery, such as computers? What about breaks? How long are they and will workers be compensated for them? Many of these rules are backed by federal laws, so employers should make sure they’re compliant with any pertinent regulations.