SBDC Template

Opening Doors Blog

Employee Handbooks Aren't Just About Policies

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Employee Handbooks are the backbone of an organization’s culture and guiding principles. More than just policies, they should tell the story of who you are and describe the motivations and priorities that drive your business. Many employers mistakenly think a Handbook only serves the purpose to ensure legal compliance….but that’s not what is most important about a Handbook!

The policies you establish are what align your employee behaviors, organizational philosophy and leadership expectations. An Employee Handbook is like having a rulebook for sports. It defines your company’s boundaries, gives ground rules and explains what is and is not considered acceptable behavior internally and externally.

Legal protections. Of course, Handbooks also protect the company and ensure your policies are compliant with federal and state requirements. While a handbook can’t protect you from being sued, it can provide documentation that can help protect you if you are. For instance, if your handbook explains how overtime is calculated you may be able to use your policy as documentation to help protect yourself and your company in the event of an accusation.

Review contents annually. The employment landscape changes frequently, as such employers are encouraged to review and update their Employee Handbook every year. Avoid creating such detailed policies that require more frequent updates to the Handbook making the process overly burdensome.

It’s not enough to just update the contents each year. You must make sure your employees are aware of your policies and that you review them with your employees every year. Employers are encouraged to provide employees a copy of the Handbook upon hire and every time you update it. Always have them sign an acknowledgement that it was received.

Don’t have a Handbook? It’s time to build one. Think there is a stigma with the name? Call it something fresh, like a Culture Book. No matter what you call it, having a documented set of guidelines that direct your employee’s behavior and allows you to hold them accountable is a win-win!

Solvere HR Consulting provides powerful HR solutions that optimize your organizational capability and profitability through your most valuable asset -- your employees.

Learn more at


Reagan is an accomplished HR executive with extensive experience supporting small, mid- and large businesses develop people strategies that support organizational goals. Her experience ranges across a wide variety of industries including engineering, construction, telecommunications and business process outsourcing (BPO).

She has experience working in the United States and internationally in Europe, Middle East, Australia/New Zealand, Liberia and many countries in Asia.

She is recognized for being a multi-talented and versatile problem-solver with a proven track record of increasing employee engagement and enhancing leadership capabilities that directly impact bottom line results. Reagan’s broad knowledge of business disciplines enable her to develop unique people strategies designed to contribute to overall strategy.

Reagan earned her Bachelor's in Business Management from the University of Colorado, Denver and is a certified SHRM-SCP. She is passionate about advancing the HR profession, and serves as a volunteer for the Boulder Area Human Resources Association (BAHRA) as the Director of Communications & Marketing.

Christine Kluck commented on 02-May-2017 07:08 PM
Do you have a webinar or other format to guide process of employee handbook development?
comprar joyas online commented on 06-Nov-2017 12:35 PM
alfombra vinilica commented on 12-Sep-2018 03:02 AM
Muy util.
comprar dislikes commented on 30-Sep-2018 03:10 PM
comprar views
Nila Messey commented on 28-Dec-2018 09:39 PM
cialis 7.5 mg
Josef Shofner commented on 31-Dec-2018 12:30 AM
viagra canada

Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Sign up to stay in touch!

Sign up to get relevant news and updates regarding small business delivered to your inbox.