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Mistakes to avoid when writing an employee handbook

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | Business Litigation

An employee handbook is a valuable resource that every company should have. Creating a document that clearly outlines your workplace policies makes it easier for your staff to understand them and for you to enforce them.

When drafting an employee handbook, there are some common mistakes you should avoid.

1. Copying another company’s handbook

An internet search brings up plenty of examples of employee handbooks, but you should resist the temptation to simply copy one of these. Your handbook should be unique to your company, reflecting your values and mission.

2. Using too much jargon

Your handbook should be accessible to all of your employees. Stick to simple, straightforward language and avoid jargon.

You must also ensure that non-native English speakers can understand your policies. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 44% of those over the age of 5 in California speak a language other than English in their home. Consider hiring a translator to ensure that every employee has access to the company handbook in his or her native language.

3. Including too many specifics

Clarity is important, but you should also be concise. Avoid delving into specific details about job descriptions and benefits, as these may change frequently. Stick to the essentials and include information about whom your employees should contact if they have further questions.

4. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach

Consider whether a single handbook is appropriate for your entire staff. Different departments may require separate documents.

5. Ignoring the law

Make sure all of your policies comply with California employment laws. Include information about federal employment laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and Equal Employment Opportunity.

An employee handbook is an important tool for your growing business. Taking the time to outline your policies and procedures in a handbook can improve productivity and morale in your workplace.