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4 tips for writing a handbook your employees will really use

While containing pertinent information, many employee handbooks are uninspiring and end up in a desk drawer never again to see the light of day.

But with a little imagination, you can create a handbook your employees will actually read and use. Here are four tips to get you started.

1. A communication tool

To begin with, keep the employee handbook simple but engage your readers from the outset. Be creative with the design. Make it easy to read and pleasing to the eye. Use the handbook to reach out, explaining what your employees can expect from you and what the company expects from them. Be clear about expectations but emphasize that you are always approachable.

2. Hours, pay and benefits

Your employees need to know about their work hours, their compensation and the company benefits they can expect. Be specific to ensure that your company is doing all it can to inform and assist employees. In this way you can help protect the business against a possible lawsuit that could arise due to misinterpretation.

3. Employee appreciation

Mention the programs you have for employee recognition. When new hires understand that you appreciate and reward model employees, they strive from day one to do their best work.

4. Legal information

It is essential for your handbook to contain any legal information your employees should know. Include the company’s equal employment, non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. Cite the laws. Seek the help of an attorney to review your handbook in its entirety and ensure that the legal content is correct. The effort it takes to create a great handbook is worthwhile when the end product is a communication tool your employees will actually use.