What Does Your Employee Handbook (or lack of) Say About Your Company?

Valve, a Seattle area gaming software company recently released their employee handbook and it’s getting quite a bit of press. As I read through it, I was reminded of just how influential and helpful an employee handbook can be for both employees and employers.

A well-written handbook shares important information about the company, helps new employees hit the ground running, continues to answer questions that arise during employees’ engagement with the company and exudes the company’s culture. What we can tell about Valve from their handbook is that they value empowering their employees by offering a clearly defined and shared vision so employees all know that they are working diligently toward the same goal. The fact that the company decided to share their employee handbook for all to see also says to me that they value transparency. You can check out Valve’s employee handbook here for ideas and inspiration.

While most companies understand the advantages of creating a handbook, it is often seen as a daunting process that requires too much time. There are several reasons why we advocate that our clients make time for creating a handbook, regardless of what your culture entails. Having an employee handbook:

  1. Saves you time – Managers usually receive the same questions from multiple employees. If they are answered in an employee handbook, employees have one place to direct them rather than taking up valuable time. Also, you ensure that all employees are receiving consistent information.
  2. Helps protect the company in the event an employee files a lawsuit – verbal policies do not hold up in court but written ones do. Also, written policies hold more authority.
  3. Creates loyalty – if you expressly share with employees how you plan to partner with them, they are more likely to feel valued and remain more focused on the tasks at hand.

When Resourceful HR is hired to provide HR support we often recommend starting with an HR audit to ensure your programs and processes are legally compliant and gaining you the greatest return. One of the first questions we ask is, do you have an employee handbook in place that reflects your culture and is well utilized? Do employees know where to get information if an employee handbook doesn’t exist?
Get started today!

Further recommended reading from our blog:
When is the best time to introduce an employee handbook?
What Should My Employee Handbook Cover?

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"My professional passion stems from a fascination with how the individual needs of employees, managers, and the business converge to produce an outcome. I’m driven by a desire to help leaders and employees find the balance between competing needs so they can work together to address the challenges they face."