Employee Handbooks: Create for Communication Not Litigation
In this era when employee engagement is critical to success and company branding is of paramount importance, the employee handbook is often neglected as a key component for communication. The employee handbook can be used as a powerful tool for delivering important messages not only to new employees, but also to current employees and the management team.
Corporate attorneys must be convinced that it protects the organization, marketing should see it as complementary to their branding efforts, managers want a quick and easy policy reference and employees want to understand how the organization functions, what is generally expected of them as a member of the team and what they can expect to receive from the company.
Language needs to be carefully crafted to incorporate the tasks of risk mitigation and the transmission of cultural values. The amount of effort and care involved in producing the document will be readily apparent to all who read it. It will radiate importance or disinterest. Not only does it illustrate the importance that the company attributes to the information, but it also demonstrates the degree to which the company cares about the employees who will read it and the managers who access it regularly.
Discussion will cover the range of contents to be included in the handbook from the must-haves, to the maybes, to those items that are best excluded. It will also address the dilemma of multi-state and multi-national employers and how the handbook can be adapted to various legal and cultural environments.
Why should you attend: Many of employee handbooks do not effectively communicate with employees and often create a negative image of the organization. These employee handbooks are sometimes "cut and paste" documents borrowed from other organizations or are rigid statements drafted by attorneys whose primary concern is prevailing in a legal battle. These documents contain little material that conveys the uniqueness of the firm or delineates the hopes of the leaders and the expectations of the employees. As a result, employees are given the impression that this information is not important enough to be artfully crafted and therefore ignore it. Or worse, they may perceive that the workplace is a rule base environment and begin building their defenses or even their exit strategy. Managers may interpret the legalistic tone in a handbook as a gauge for how they should apply policies and discipline
Areas Covered in the Session:
Who Will Benefit:
- The multiple purposes of the employee handbook
- Identifying all of the audiences and incorporating their perspectives
- The key components of a good handbook
- Personalizing the handbook
- Balancing the legal requirements with a positive corporate cultural message
- Adapting the handbook for multi-state and multi-national environments
- Using the handbook for regular on-going employee communication
- Senior Executives
- HR Leaders
- Employment Attorneys