Staff handbooks – what are they and why do you need them? | A blog by Business Butler

Staff handbooks – what are they and why do you need them?

In today’s blog we will be going over what staff handbooks are and why businesses need to make sure they have them. Firstly, what is a staff handbook? A staff handbook, which can also be referred to as an employee manual/handbook, contains a number of policies and documents which tell everything that employees need to know about working at a business.

Legal requirement

If you are a business owner then it is essential for you to produce and give out these staff handbooks as it is actually required by law to have some employment policies in place for your company. These policies can include; grievance and disciplinary procedures, sickness and absence, and how much parental leave is due. By doing this you are able to make sure that you are crystal clear with all your staff, how exactly your company will deal with particular situations, and what the employees can expect if said situations arise. Having all of your company’s policies in one handbook makes it far easier for your managers and all other employees to easily access the details needed. 

When creating your handbooks I recommend that you also include your business’ values, strategy, and also any added benefits you offer to your staff. By doing this you will mainly get people working for you who agree with your company values, so you won’t be hiring the wrong crowd. Staff handbooks are a must within a business and if you don’t have them then you should speak to a HR professional as soon as possible.  

Reasons for a staff handbook

Here are a few more reasons why it is really important to have a staff handbook in place. If you produce a comprehensive handbook then you will be able to relax as you will know that your company has created a good system with solid processes that are legally compliant with policies and in turn will help oil the cogs for your business to run as smoothly as possible.

Furthermore, if your staff have read and know the policies in place then this will go on to help them know what is expected of them in all different types of situations. Of course adding on to this, you will then have a clear explanation to give to your staff if they get something wrong as you would just have to refer to the staff handbook. Also, this will make your managers life’s easier as they will know exactly how to deal with situations that may arise within the workplace. Being consistent with your business, its approaches and its policies are important to be a successful, well-respected and fair company.

Ready from day one

Being a business owner is tough, so why not save yourself the hassle and stress further down the line by creating a great staff handbook from the get-go. You should still look into your handbook every few months and check-up if anything needs to be changed. Even if nothing needs to be changed - which hopefully it doesn’t if you have created a really good handbook - then it is still a great idea to keep on top of it and to basically know it back-to-front. You will also be complying with employment law by having a staff handbook and processes and procedures written down for everyone to see.

Peace of mind

As a business you are required by law to have a Health and Safety Policy if you have five or more staff and also a Disciplinary Procedure. You should also make sure to put in place policies to deal with bullying, harassment and also any rules you want in place surrounding employees discussing their work on social media. There are so many points you must cover but if you do it right then you are saving yourself from a lot less stress in the future when conducting your business.

If you are a business owner and haven’t already got a staff handbook in place, or you have some questions about your existing handbook, then you can speak with one of our HR Experts by clicking

Business Butler is an on-demand talent platform that connects users with a panel of vetted business experts who specialise in a range of disciplines including marketing, law, finance and human resources. To find your ideal expert please click here.