What Your Employee Handbook Should Really Contain


Over the past few months, I've noticed many inquiries about what should be included in an employee handbook.

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed many inquiries about what should be included in an employee handbook.

Many firms have written supposedly good employee handbooks, but I’ve yet to find one that is properly organized and contains all of the truly important information and none of the unnecessary verbiage. In fact, I’ve seen some written by a few supposedly great authorities that can be rather detrimental to your business.

Here’s what you need to know about employee handbooks.

First, they need to be organized in a meaningful way from the standpoint of creating motivation in a manner that will provide the outcomes you desire.

Your employee handbook should be segmented into 2 units:

  • Unit 1: “what you can expect of us”
  • Unit 2: “what we expect from you”

Identifying what your employees can expect from you first puts them in a good frame of mind, providing that the unit contains what they want to see. The second unit on what you expect from them will be well received if your employees discover things in the first section that impress them.

Among the items that belong in the first unit are:

  • Terms of employment
  • Benefits
  • Hours of work
  • Holidays (which are a part of the benefits, if you pay for any of them)
  • How employees get paid and when
  • Training
  • Good leadership (what it is and how it’s delivered)
  • How differences of opinion relevant to work related matters get handled

The chapter on employee benefits should be the most extensive one of all because it will contain many different variations. Good employees want benefits, but you do not have to pay for all of them in the first year.

However, your best employees have options. Even when they take a job with you, they will be looking elsewhere if they do not get enough benefits.

Benefits are one of the key components to keeping a good, productive employee loyal to you, so make sure you don’t ignore them.

The second unit should contain items such as:

  • Prompt, reliable attendance
  • Good learning abilities
  • Responding well to direction
  • Positive attitude and behavior
  • Reliability
  • Basic skills required
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Client relations

This is the basic organizational outline of your employee handbook.

The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or Lester@ThePharmacySage.com

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