Top 10 Reasons Employers Need an Employee Handbook

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The start of the new year is the perfect time for employers to ensure their businesses are set up for success. One essential aspect that often goes overlooked is the employee handbook. An employee handbook not only outlines expectations, but also serves as a crucial tool to communicate procedures, policies, and company values to your employees.

When deciding to update your employee handbook, you should consider the following:

  • Does your handbook accurately communicate procedures, policies and company values?
  • Does your employee handbook address new laws and regulations, such as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (effective June 27, 2023)?
  • Does your handbook address new workplace realities such as hybrid work, and other factors of the evolving employment landscape?
  • Does your handbook act as a valuable tool to help protect your company against lawsuits and claims?

Below is a list of the Top 10 reasons why employers need an employee handbook, and why now is the ideal time to update your employee handbook if you already have one:

1. Clarity on Expectations:  An employee handbook sets clear expectations and provides employees with a clear understanding of their responsibilities by outlining company policies, procedures, and behavioral standards. This clarity helps maintain a positive work environment and reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or disputes.

2. Legal Compliance:  Keeping your employee handbook up-to-date ensures that your company remains compliant with ever changing employment laws and regulations. This is crucial for avoiding legal issues and potential fines that can arise from non-compliance.

3. Protection Against Litigation: A well-drafted employee handbook can serve as a protective shield in legal disputes. It demonstrates that the employer has communicated and enforced consistent policies, reducing the risk of litigation or administrative claims.

4. Onboarding and Training Tool:  Employee handbooks are valuable resources during the onboarding process. A clear employee handbook will help new hires acclimate to the company culture, understand policies, and become familiar with expectations, streamlining the orientation process.  Moreover, it provides information about where new employees can turn for help or to obtain workplace assistance.

5. Communicate and Showcase the Benefits You Offer: If your business offers employee benefits, such as vacations, 401(k), health insurance, paid parental leave, or other perks, you can use the employee handbook to make sure your employees know about the benefits and the eligibility requirements.  This transparency promotes employee satisfaction and a positive workplace atmosphere. A generous benefits package can also help your business retain employees.

6. Conflict Resolution Guidelines:  An employee handbook contributes to a healthier workplace by providing employees with a clear conflict resolution procedures.  Clear procedures provide a roadmap for resolving issues promptly and demonstrate a commitment to fairness and consistency, reducing the risk that conflicts escalate into litigation.

7. Promotion of Company Culture:  By communicating your company’s mission, values and culture, your employee handbook will help new employees understand how they fit in and will help foster a sense of pride and belonging.  Employees who take pride in their organization typically exhibit higher levels of productivity and helps develop a positive work environment.  

8. Consistency in Enforcement:  A well-defined employee handbook promotes consistency in policy enforcement. This consistency is essential for treating employees fairly and avoiding claims of discrimination or favoritism.  In contrast, businesses that rely on unspoken or unwritten policies create a risk that employees will believe they are being treated unfairly or unequally.   

9. Flexibility for Remote Work and Changing Environments:  Given the evolving nature of work environments, an updated employee handbook should address policies related to remote work, hybrid work, and flexible schedules. An updated employee handbook can include information on compliance with local labor laws, tax regulations, and various other legal requirements specific to locations where your employees are based.

10. Adaptability to Technological Changes:  The COVID-19 pandemic help promote new technologies that change the way we work.  How these new technologies will impact your business and will be used by your employees should be spelled out in your employee handbook.  If your employee handbook does not mention social media, video conferencing (like Zoom, WebEx, or Teams), or other new messaging platforms, it is likely time for an update.  


With the start of a new year, your business should make it a priority to create its first employee handbook or analyze and refresh its existing employee handbook, ensuring compliance with new laws and regulations, adapting to evolving workplace realities, and effectively communicating expectations to employees.   

We are happy to help employers develop their first employee handbook or update and revise an existing employee handbook in a cost-effective manner, tailored to your business.  For more information, please contact Jeremy Grant at 802-660-3321 or