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5 Reasons Every Startup Needs an Employee Handbook

Five crucial reasons why creating an employee handbook for new hires can benefit and even protect your business.

Joining a new company can be confusing and stressful, especially when the organization is still in the early stages of growth. Some new hires may have general questions about everyday operations and company culture, while others may struggle to understand exactly what their duties are, how to accomplish them, and who they should reach out to if they have job-related concerns.

Employees who are unsure of their role and disoriented in their new surroundings may make more mistakes and could resign if they feel unwelcome or believe that the company is unorganized. A manual that lays out all the facts and details about your organization alleviates confusion and streamlines the onboarding process.

The following list details five crucial reasons why creating an employee handbook for new hires can benefit and even protect your business.


1. Introduce your company

Handbooks are great tools for giving new hires a big-picture view of the company. The introduction portion of your manual explains how the business began, your mission statement, values, and goals, and how each employee fits into your organization’s grand scheme. This information can give new recruits a sense of pride and purpose that will likely enhance their job performance.


2. Outline company expectations

Laying out your policies and procedures often has a grounding effect on new hires. Office manuals typically impart guidelines for tracking employee attendance, dress code requirements, and general workplace conduct. The faster new employees understand company standards and rules, the sooner they can settle into an efficient and orderly routine.

Also, while employees may have read and discussed their job description during the interview process, providing them with a detailed list of their responsibilities gives them a clearer understanding of their role. Employee handbooks serve as reference material by letting workers know how they should perform, complete, and report their tasks each day.


3. Build trust and foster communication

New hires need to know who to turn to when they need help or have questions. A handbook outlining the office chain of command lets workers know which managers they should contact to request time off, resolve workplace conflicts, or assist with assignments. Employee manuals promote communication between management and staff and create an efficient work environment.

Additionally, workplace manuals show your dedication to employee growth and success. Describing your approach to on-the-job training and how you provide feedback and conduct performance evaluations can help new workers understand how to use and develop their skills. Handbooks also reduce work-related anxiety by boosting your employees’ confidence and keeping them productive.


4. Ensure compliance with state and federal laws

An employee handbook assures new hires that you strive to uphold the laws that keep them healthy and safe on the job. For example, providing reference material on legal guidelines for handling sexual harassment helps employees understand acceptable workplace relationships and behavior, as well as the importance of reporting inappropriate interactions when they occur.


5. Communicate diversity and inclusion policies

Your manual can also put workers at ease by demonstrating your commitment to workplace diversity and inclusivity. Being upfront about your zero-tolerance policy on bullying and discrimination at work helps employees feel more secure when joining your team. A handbook is also a great place to highlight any workshops and diversity training initiatives you have in place.


Make new employees feel welcome

Ultimately, employee handbooks equip recent hires with the information they need to succeed and set a solid foundation to help them do their best. They also provide resources that can make them feel secure and confident in their new role. Overall, an employee handbook is an excellent tool to help each new hire feel like a capable and valued part of the team.


Doug Crawford, SPHR, SHRM-SCP A long-time resident of Northeast Ohio, Doug Crawford serves as President of Job-Applications.com. Crawford formerly worked as a CFO of a leading oil company and has been an executive-level manager for over 20 years. He is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). 


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