Support Your Team With an Employee Handbook

Jun 20, 2022

Woman working on laptop drinking coffee

Originally published by Poached with contribution from HR Annie Consulting. Find the original article here.

HR Annie Consulting’s Employee Handbook is a fantastic tool to help guide yourself and your team toward the policies, culture, and atmosphere you want to manifest in your business.

Transparency, consistency, and integrity are critical components of being an effective employer. No matter the team size, if management can provide staff guidelines that maintain a fair and equitable work environment, team morale and employee satisfaction will likely remain high. Positive work culture has many residual effects. It can make for a more effortless hiring experience, reduce employee turnover, and support a healthier team — all resulting in a better customer experience. An Employee Handbook is the foundation for creating and maintaining this vision, which is why it’s a vital tool every employer should have.

“A handbook guides employees and managers by sharing compliance with employment laws, detailing your company policies, setting the tone for employee interactions, and underscoring your commitments to the team,” HR Annie Consulting, a trusted Human Resource consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon, told us. “It’s a trusted playbook for how team members can succeed and grow in your company when done right.”

Handbooks are a single resource given to all employees upon hire where they can find important information on your companies policies regarding,

  • Culture: your mission and your commitments to the team.
  • Compliance: local, state, and federal laws.
  • Company perks and policies: paid time off, travel, attire guidelines, etc.
  • Standards of conduct: your expectations in the workplace and how employees treat one another.

HR Annie recommends that employers break up the guide into two sections for a more approachable handbook: What you can expect from us and what we can expect from you.

“What you can expect from us may include policies related to company values, communication about pay and benefits, legal entitlements that employees should know about like sick time and accommodations, commitments to performance communication, and more,” HR Annie described.

As always, leading with your commitments to your staff sets the tone for a supportive and inclusive workplace. One where you’re not just asking for their time and service but also offering them support and opportunities for success.

Further, the “What we expect from you” section instructs employees on handling specific situations that could occur during their employment. “This handbook section is more heavily focused on culture but may consist of other compliance policies. Here, employees learn about safety guidelines, guest recovery, no gossip and conflict resolution, anti-harassment and anti-discrimination commitments and procedures, drug and alcohol policies, best practices for using social media, standards of conduct, etc.”

An employee handbook covers all employment concerns. It demonstrates that policies are in place to handle any situation and communicates that you have employees’ back when something comes up.

Additionally, “An updated handbook is one of the best tools for mitigating risk to your company,” HR Annie continued. “Employees can reference your handbook instead of doing what they think is legal or best or what they experienced with their last employer (who may have had outdated or illegal policies).”

Of course, as a restaurant owner — your days are already filled to the brim. Setting aside time to eat can be challenging enough, let alone crafting an easy-to-read and presentable handbook. That’s where HR Annie Consulting comes in. Their experienced consultants can work with you to create a custom handbook that reflects your policies and culture. They also have experience with industry-specific policies, including best practices for liquor control commissions, health departments, guest incidents, tip pooling, and other best practices and compliance for hospitality establishments.

For those who would like some guidance, but don’t necessarily need a custom handbook, HR Annie also offers templates through their online store. These templates were made so an employer could easily plug in their own information for a simple approach. “Our handbook templates are an excellent option for a small company that uses the handbook to maintain compliance and just want the basics, featuring approachable language that employees can easily understand.”

An Employee Handbook sets a company’s standards and culture in writing — if you don’t have one yet, it is a worthwhile investment to implement one. To start creating a custom handbook with HR Annie, contact HR Annie Consulting to set up a time with your very own consultant or head over to their online store to purchase your employee handbook template here.