Key Sections of an Employee Handbook

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Human Resource Management Roles > Best Practices > Key Sections of an Employee Handbook

Key Sections of an Employee Handbook
UDOCHI ANOKWU, Manager, Nigeria, Member
I have been told that an effective employee handbook is important for an organization to manage staff and enable leaders to provide effective leadership. What are the key sections and activities found in an effective employee handbook?

Contents of Employee Handbook
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, SIG Leader
Hi Udochi, I have found useful information about employee handbooks by conducting an internet search to find examples used by other organizations. Typically, an employee handbook is based on the organization's needs.
An effective employee handbook would focus on HR policies, such as:
- Employee orientation,
- Recruitment and staffing,
- Labour relations,
- Compensation and benefits,
- Staff development,
- Occupational health,
- Performance evaluation,
- Etc.
You also need to identify the purpose of the policy, the owner of the policy, and the group covered. Please react if you need further clarification.

Effective Employee Handbook Necessary
EZERIE, BLESSING OKEOMA, Management Consultant, Nigeria, Member
Employee handbooks are necessary, since they help to regulate the organisational manpower status in hiring and firing.
As such it contains an up to date description of human resource files:
- Organisational recruitment
- Methods of advertisement of vacancies
- Criteria for selection process
- Location of target applicant
- Methods of interview
- Induction scheme
- Orientation packages
- Training methods available
- Development process
- Parameters for dismissal
- Retirement age and benefits
Organisations can maintain a comprehensive data analysis and profiles for their employees as an appendix of the hand book.

Contents of Employee Handbook and what to Exclude from It
Everest Turyahikayo, Manager, Uganda, Member
Other contents include:
- Culture and history of the organization,
- Pay and salaries,
- Benefits offered,
- Sexual harassment and grievance handling.
Unconditional promises should be excluded from the handbook, because failure to fulfil them attracts lawsuits, even from ex-employees.

Contents of Employee Handbook
Ashish Verma, HR Consultant, India, Member
Dear Udochi, the purpose of a handbook in an organization is to drive the herd (employees) at a particular destination (performance level). A generic handbook would have rules (policies) governing employees in a particular direction. If the policies are drafted in isolation and not in sync with the overall organizational goals then the policies (rules) function as islands without generating desired results. Draft the manual after understanding the vision of the organization which would change every year or two (i guess). Your policies would change accordingly. The best handbook should contain those policies that address the burning issues for the organization, such as desired changes (culture, performance, etc.). Not to go just by industry best practices. Hope this helps.

Employee Handbook Ownership
Florence Ansu-Amponsah, Manager, Ghana, Member
@David Wilson: You mention the owner of the Employee Policy Handbook. Does someone actually need to own it?

Who is the Employee Handbook Owner
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, SIG Leader
Yes, there needs to be an "owner", taking are of it. Ideally, the organization as a whole owns the handbook. But it is not unusual for the Human Resources Department to be responsible for ensuring the handbook is up to date.

Special Interest Group Leader
David Wilson

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