Employee Handbooks: The Benefits Explained

Employee Handbooks

The Benefits

by Malcolm Martin

This article describes the benefits of employee handbooks. There are three main areas:

  • Recruiting (and retaining) the best staff
  • Improving performance
  • Legal compliance

Recruiting the best staff

Well-written employee handbooks communicate your expectations, as employers, to your employees. They will judge you on the content. So if you are a good employer your employee handbooks should reflect this, and you'll attract the best.

Improved performance

Well-established research (undertaken by the LSE and University of Sheffield) shows that the impact of good people management practices on business performance is greater than other good practices, such as an emphasis on quality, advanced technology, business strategy, or research and development.

Employee Handbooks expert Malcolm Martin

Employee Handbooks expert: Malcolm Martin

Malcolm Martin is the Managing Director of Employee Solutions Ltd, co-author of the best seller Personnel Practice, and the Employment Law Pocketbook and his company is supported by links with Lancaster University.

Contact Malcolm Martin.

In fact, members of the Sunday Times "100 Best companies to work for" (where good people management practice, unsurprisingly, features highly) have outperformed the FTSE index over a number of years.

Legal compliance

Failure to have written particulars (contracts of employment) leaves you vulnerable in the event an employee makes an Employment Tribunal claim, where additional awards that the employer has to pay to the employee can be made.

Carefully written particulars provide advantages for employers, for example making it feasible to reclaim training costs if an employee leaves.

Failure to follow discipline and grievance policies and, especially the statutory components, would inevitably lead to findings of unfair dismissal, if one takes place, at a Tribunal and with increased costs arising in consequence.

Finally, appropriate policies make it easier to resolve disputes and defend actions.

While there is more to good practice than having the intention, nevertheless having policies thought through, documented and then communicated to employees is an excellent starting point.

Return to main employee handbooks article.

(c) 2006 Malcolm Martin

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