Seven Ingredients for Creating
an Effective Employee Manual
As business owners, one byproduct of
our continuous focus on “big picture”
issues is that we can sometimes lose site
of the most basic, but important, details
that form a strong foundation for the
Richard Millson (firstname.lastname@example.org) owns Millson Technologies, in
Vancouver, British Columbia.
A prime example of this type of
issue is the creation and distribution
of a comprehensive employee manual
for all current and future employees. I
would argue that creating a detailed and
complete employee manual is actually
one of the most important things you can
do to help set your company on the right
path toward success.
Anything But Mundane
The employee manual should not
be viewed as simply a method for
communicating the more mundane rules and regulations of the company.
While it should contain all of the basic information every employee will
need to know, I believe it also can be approached as an opportunity to
communicate and establish the
culture, philosophy, and vision of
the company as well.
Whether you are going to create
your first employee manual or are
just interested in revising your current
one, here are some key items
you will want to include:
1 A Letter from the President.
This provides the opportunity for
the president to welcome new team
members and communicate the
vision for the company. You may
want to include a brief history of
the company to illustrate how far
you have come, and to provide an
historical perspective for new employees
Creating a comprehensive employee manual is one of those things we all need to do for
2 Mission, Vision, and Core Values. The next section should
detail your mission statement, vision statement, and the core values for
the company. These three items establish in very clear terms what the
philosophy of the company is and its approach to business, in general, and
your clients and fellow employees, specifically.
3 Key Contacts. This is simply a list of key people within the organization,
their titles, and contact information. While this may seem redundant to some,
remember that new employees will not know this information when they
start. It also provides a great resource for all employees in case of emergency.
4 Table of Contents. Depending on the scope of your employee
manual, it will be important for folks to be able to find what they are
looking for quickly and easily. This is simply a well-organized listing of the
items that make up the bulk of content.
5 Non-Disclosure Agreement. This document is simply designed to
protect the company from employees sharing or divulging proprietary
information. This can be confidential information related to finances,
business practices, company documentation etc. as well as any personal
information related to your clients and their projects.
6 Sample Documents. These can include samples of time sheet for
recording hours worked per project, an expense report for projects that
require travel, a mileage log for employees that use their own vehicle for
business, a safety report for capturing details of workplace accidents or a
preliminary accident report for motor vehicle accidents.
7 Employee Acceptance Form. The last document in the employee
manual should be a simple acceptance form that the employee signs
when they receive the manual. This form simply states that the employee
has read the manual, understands it, and agrees to abide by the policies,
guidelines, rules, and procedures outlined in it.
As you assemble your employee manual don’t forget to have a lawyer
familiar with employment law
review it for any issues/changes.
And keep in mind this is a living
document. Any time you change or
update any of the content you need
to remember to provide updates to
each employee so they can change
out that section in the binder.
To help you get started on your employee manual table of contents, download a sample document from Millson Technologies by clicking here.