Saturday, April 12, 2008

Handbooks vs. Policy Manuals

Bern Lefson This article was written by Bern Lefson,
SCORE Orange County Management Counselor

Small businesses tend to ignore setting out expectations of employees. It is penny wise and pound foolish to do so. Performance and acceptable behavior is encouraged and improved with written policies that employees may access.

In order to clear up any confusion of the purpose of an employee handbook let's take a short look at the difference between a handbook and a policy manual.

Employee handbooks are written with employees as the intended audience. They are vehicles for familiarizing employees with basic company policies and benefits programs, as well as the general expectations of the company, including acceptable and unacceptable behavior and discipline measures. The policies and procedures manual are much more detailed than the employee handbook and should be used for backup when more information is needed to explain a policy or when a deeper understanding of a process is desired.