Creating an Effective Employee Manual Post 3

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Revised Policies: If you have given every employee a printed version of the handbook, give them each a copy of the new policy to be filed in it (a good reason to produce your handbook in loose-leaf format). If you maintain printed versions that are available to employees centrally, post the revised policy in a central place and notify employees to read it. Hold managers responsible for ensuring that the employees who report to them are informed on a timely basis of policy changes. Send an e-mail message containing the new policy or announcing the policy change to every employee. Tell them where they can read it (on the bulletin board, in the online handbook, or on your intranet). Include a notification about the changed policy on each paycheck or in a separate stuffer in the paycheck envelope. Announce policy changes in departmental meetings or the company newsletter. However, this can be less effective because not all employees may be at work or read the newsletter.

Don’t Hide It: A policy handbook is received more positively if you publicize it, rather than trying to “sneak it in.” While some may think that less publicity reduces employees’ questions, it is usually just the opposite. Be up front about why you are developing a handbook and talk about its benefits to the employees (more knowledge of policies, consistency across the organization, etc.).

Give Managers and Supervisors Special Attention: Many policies that you create may direct employees to contact a specific person or department about policy questions. However, application of the policies is usually by an employee’s immediate supervisor. Making a special effort to educate supervisors on policies, and answering their questions before you release the handbook, ensures better and more consistent implementation.

Make It Fun: If it’s appropriate for your organization, put a version of the handbook online or on your intranet. People who use computers will definitely find a computerized handbook more fun to use and, therefore, use it more!