Career Advice

5 HR Policies That Should Be Covered In The Company’s Employee Handbook

We may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. For more information, please see our disclosure policy.

While policies are an essential part of a company’s effective functioning, procedures provide detailed and step-by-step instructions on how to implement these policies. Communicating these policies and procedures to potential employees is important because of a number of reasons: to ensure workplace transparency, to develop trust, to create a safer environment, and to avoid any possible lawsuits. But how do you communicate these policies? One of the ways to do so is by using employee handbooks.

Employee handbooks contain workplace policies but you can also contain guidance and information related to the organization’s history, mission, values, policies, procedures, and benefits in a written format. 

To help your company stay in compliance with the State Employment Laws, here are some of the HR procedures that must be covered in the company’s employee handbook:

1. Staff Performance Guide

Staff performance guides are rubrics that provide detailed descriptions for rating the annual performance of staff employees. This guide is extremely important for managers to evaluate the performance of the staff and determine bonuses, promotions, and demotions accordingly. An effectively designed employee handbook provides a detailed staff performance guide so new employees know which parameters they’ll be tested on. This rubric includes performance indicators like:

  • Job knowledge
  • Productivity
  • Quality of work
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving skills

2. Background Check

In order to establish workplace safety, background checks are performed on employees for their criminal history, etc. There are types of different background checks and all administration, staff, and temporary staff assigned employees are usually required to submit background checks.

Employee handbooks contain workplace policies but you can also contain guidance and information related to the organization's history, mission, values, policies, procedures, and benefits in a written format. Click To Tweet

Following are the types of background checks:

  • Level 1: This check includes a nationwide criminal history and a national sex offenders check. 
  • Level 2: This level of check requires a finger-print based check in addition to a level 1 check. This helps avoid identity theft.

3. Complaint/Grievance Procedure

Grievances are allegations by an employee that a term or condition of employment is unjust or inappropriate. This is a concerning matter and must be thoroughly explained in the employee handbook. This procedure includes defining what counts are grievable and what conditions are exceptions from the process.

The following actions do not count as grievances:

  • Performance evaluations
  • Administrative leave
  • Voluntary demotions
  • Oral reprimands
  • Reduction of pay to minimum wage

The process of applying for a complaint includes first filling out the complaint form, providing correct information, followed by a standard informal resolution period, and then evaluation by the HR committee. 

4. Code of Ethics

Code of ethics is a guiding set of principles that are defined by HR to maintain the integrity of the workplace. A code of ethics document outlines what values must be followed by the employees in the workplace.

These are the types of code of ethics that may be defined in the employee handbook:

  • Compliance based code of ethics: compliance-based code of ethics are used to enforce laws and regulations, and determine the penalties that employees may face for violation
  • Value based code of ethics: this code of ethics is based on the company’s core values. It defines the standards of conduct that relate to public relations. 
  • Code of loyalty: This code of ethics is followed by professionals such as financial advisors, and this can also be defined as Fiduciary duty. 

5. Harassment Policies

Harassment policies must be defined extensively in order to avoid any misconduct and to guarantee workplace safety. Most States have a very strict no-tolerance policy against workplace harassment and such actions may result in termination.

HR procedure regarding workplace harassment includes:

  • Compensations for the victims
  • Disciplinary action against the accused 
  • Counselling for the victims

Stating these policies in your employee handbook creates a sense of trust for the people who are considering joining the company and also helps create a safer work environment for the employees. 

HR procedures are usually attached to their respective policies in the employee handbook as a form of a separate, extensive document. They control the consistency, integrity, fairness and values of a company. A well documented employee handbook helps employees and managers in understanding the values of the company and learning the right way to conduct themselves at work in order to ensure compliance to the code of ethics and State laws.


What's next?

home popular resources subscribe search