employee handbook

How to write an employee handbook that will be read? 

For 74% of HRDs, n Onboarding is a top priority in terms of employee experience (versus 61% in 2018 and 63% in 2019).

Source : Parlons RH

It is well known that integrating a collaborator well guarantees a pleasant, productive and caring work environment. Conversely, an employee who is poorly onboarded will be less efficient and will leave sooner: 

As part of Onboarding’s approach, the employee handbook is one of the many tools needed to help your newcomers get started. But it still needs to be read and understood! 

43% of Generation Y employees do not read the majority of the employee handbook, and 11% of Generation Y employees do not even open it.

Source GuideSpark

So, how do you put together an effective, readable employee handbook? 

What is an employee handbook?

The employee handbook is a support tool given to each newcomer to the company.  Employees receive it on their first day in the company or even a little before. 

This tool allows you to present your structure to newcomers. It presents the company, its context, its environment, highlights its operating methods… In short, it provides each newcomer with everything he or she needs to start working in the best possible conditions.

Of course, this tool alone is not enough to Onboard your newcomers and does not replace the support you can give them, but complements it! 

What are the objectives of the employee handbook?

The objectives of the employee handbook are similar to those of Onboarding! 

A short reminder of the main objectives of Onboarding: 

  • 🏢 Make sure you create a positive first impression: to make your new recruit feel integrated and considered in order to retain them.
  • 🔗 Connecting employees: to allow your new recruit to meet and exchange with the different members of your company, to foster communication and improve long-term collaboration.
  • 🏫️ Train the employee effectively: so that he or she is quickly efficient and effective in his or her work.
  • 👋 Offer a warm welcome: make the employee feel comfortable and confident. 
  • 🔥 Make sure your employee adheres to the corporate culture and values.  

The aim of the employee handbook will therefore be to give the newcomer all the information necessary for his or her integration and to make him or her more autonomous and efficient within the company more quickly. 

It also allows the newcomer to share the company’s values. To allow him/her to discover the regulations and to find his/her way around your company more easily. 

The booklet thus becomes a veritable toolbox, always at your employee’s fingertips so that he or she can, if necessary, pick up any necessary information.

Beyond this practical aspect, this booklet also helps to concretize the attention you pay to your employees. It shows that you have been waiting for this newcomer, and that you are doing everything you can to ensure that his or her arrival goes smoothly.

Is the employee handbook mandatory?

Except in health establishments, where it has been compulsory since 2002, there are no regulations concerning the employee handbook, either on its existence or its contents.

What should be in it?

It is truly a guide that facilitates the arrival of employees and helps them find their way around the company. The more comprehensive the booklet is, the easier it will be for newcomers to integrate. 

The first step is to take stock of all the elements a newcomer might need. 

It must contain: 

  • An introduction: which introduces the purpose of this booklet, with, for example, a welcome from the CEO.
  • A presentation of the company: in order to give information about the structure, projects and vision for the coming years.
  • The company’s values, culture and mission: to which the employee must adhere in order to facilitate his or her smooth integration.
  • Practical information: access map, parking, restaurant, transport, timetables, information about tools…
  • Regulations and legal obligations: this section allows you to present your company’s internal regulations and the applicable collective agreement or occupational health and safety rules.
  • Employees, teams: with an organization chart, contact information, or how to find an employee in the company.
  • Training: You can add a tab for the professional courses offered.

Take care of the form!

This employee handbook will also reflect your corporate culture in its form. So, some companies opt for sober and simple formats, others make bolder choices. Anything is possible, as long as the booklet is faithful to your company’s values! In any case, it must be legible and understandable! 

The format! 

Think of the object itself! Shape, size… Again, it’s a matter of choice, but it must be practical! Digital version, booklet, small binder… The choice is yours!

What’s next? 

Is your employee handbook ready? Then think about testing it before distributing it more widely to all your newcomers. 

Update it on a regular basis, use feedback from new employees to continuously improve it!

👉 5 employee handbooks to take as an example!

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