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Employee Handbook: Guiding You Into a New World

When you change your job and join a new job at a new company, the company provides you with an employee handbook. This handbook actually is a procedural manual that provides you with all the information about your new workplace, the policies, expecta..

When you change your job and join a new job at a new company, the company provides you with an employee handbook. This handbook actually is a procedural manual that provides you with all the information about your new workplace, the policies, expectations and procedures the company follows along with some necessary legal documents. There may actually be a document that may require you to sign and submit it back to the company stating that you have read the employee manual and you agree to abide by the company rules and policies during your tenure as an employee in the company.
Companies want to protect themselves from the lawsuits and legal actions initiated by employees, partners and other stake holders. They want to present a precise, written statement of company's policies and procedures that presents their legal stand on concerned policies and procedures as clearly as possible. Employee handbook is that written statement that aims at providing necessary clarity.
It may contain a brief welcome statement, describing the company's plans for future and how you as an employee are expected to play your part in taking it ahead. The handbook can contain details of company policies on office hours, attendance, salary structure, promotions, appraisals, incentives, bonuses, dress code, behavioral code, drug policy, a statement on sexual harassment, grounds for dismissal etc. and the penalties for violation of each of these. It may also contain details on how office equipments and resources should be used. A section on how to handle emergencies when on the job, company policy on the use of company vehicles also can be found in an employee handbook. Employee handbook is a complete guide that enables you to know how that particular company functions so that you as a newcomer have an easier time settling in.
Employee handbook may also contain the confidentiality clause or no disclosure policy about certain things that it doesn't want in public domain. The document may contain legal terminology and company's HR staff will always be there to explain to you about clauses or sections that you feel are difficult to understand.
Employee handbook provides guidance to both managers and employees with clearly stated expectations from them. It helps in avoiding misunderstandings. Written policies and procedures are taken much more seriously. It can be presented in court as evidence so the organizations should take care in drafting policies carefully so that a wrong phrase or an ill framed statement doesn't become a liability, if taken to court.
Laws keep on changing. Policies in a company also undergo changes. New procedures come into anvil. Hence it is the responsibility of the organization to keep the employee handbook updated. All the changes incorporated should be neatly conveyed.
Employee handbooks besides being a procedural guidebook, can also be seen as a document that tells the world all about its personality, the goals it is pursuing and the vision it upholds for itself an opportunity to present itself to all its stakeholders.

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