The Most Important Elements of an Inspiring Company Handbook
Updated: May 12
Compiling a company handbook can be a daunting task. It’s like the Bible of your business, guiding the culture of your company and the behaviour of your employees. It also links to the branding of your business and can be a great tool to establish yourself as an employer of choice. So here are some pointers on what needs to be in it and what to keep in mind when compiling one.
Company history – tell the story of how your company started and how it has grown. It should be written in an interesting, engaging and inspiring manner.
Vision, mission and values – this helps employees buy into what your company does and how they fit into the organization. It also helps new employees grasp the company culture.
Policies – clarifies expectations and answers questions about the way you work. The policy sections should provide information on when salaries are paid, what benefits and perks the company offers, working hours, breaks and leave, how promotions are determined, what training and development opportunities are offered, the code of conduct (including discrimination and harassment policies), the prescribed grievance procedure, social media policy and use of electronics during working hours.
The company handbook should contain the answer to all frequently asked questions. And remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question! It helps reduce any confusion around how things are done within your company. It should really form the cornerstone of your onboarding process as it gets new employees on the same page as the rest of your staff. This also protects you against employees who claim ignorance as an excuse during disciplinary procedures.
Short and sweet – it should be an enjoyable read, otherwise few staff will do the effort of reading it beginning to end.
Understandable – keep your audience in mind; use appropriate language and avoid unnecessary jargon.
Appealing – use images to break up what can seem like an information overload!
The company handbook should be a living document; something that grows and develops as your company grows. That’s why it’s a good idea to review yours on an annual basis or whenever big changes within the company occur.
The company handbook clarifies expectations and avoids unnecessary problems from arising due to a lack of communication or a misunderstanding of what has been said. So it’s a good idea to have staff sign an acknowledgement of receipt and give them an opportunity to ask questions should they find anything in the handbook to be ambiguous or unclear.
Feel like giving up before you even finished that first paragraph? Reach out to Leapfrog HR and let us compile a customised company handbook for you.