Handbook Tip #1: Do employees understand the difference between policies and procedures?

The company handbook represents your brand as a whole and provides a clear understanding for you and employees about their general job expectations. As opposed to a procedure manual, the handbook should offer an outline of expected policies. For example, our company’s testing policy for drugs and alcohol should be referenced in the handbook, but the entire procedural guide for testing remains in a separate, indexed volume in the HR office. Make sure that the handbook explains where employees can find detailed information on procedure manuals.

Handbooks should offer an outline of policy rather than a detailed explanation of individual job performance. To address this, each employee should receive a guideline for their individual roles when they get hired, and understand that these roles might change over time.

A procedure manual can help employees understand the day-to-day aspects of their jobs and can be updated frequently. Company handbooks, on the other hand, should be written so that they remain timeless and reflect the solid core values of your company. They should provide consistent, solid policy information on a company-wide basis.

Next week we will examine how to ensure your staff actually knows what your handbook says.



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