Everything what has influence to your business operation. First of all, it has to be outlined which areas the Company Employee Handbook will cover. As it has to do with internal operation, here is a list of items you should include:
Company Background Information Name Development, Foundation date and place, History-Milestones, Vision
Owner and or Manager Bios Profiles
Listing of Officers and Board of Directors
Employment Roles Job Roles, Job Description
Description of the main products and services just use your marketing material
FAQ about internal subjects only
Company timeline What, when, where
Office procedures Workflow Information, Working Procedures
List of persons to know Bank Contact, Tax Advisor, Laywer, Main Suppliers, etc.
Overview of agreements Rental, Leasing, etc.
Internal Policies Dress code, Phone usage and answering, Voice Mail Procedure, Parking,
Business Cards, Drug Policy, etc
The above list shows which information should be included. The following list shows which departments should be included:
Marketing How Follow up’s are handled, Lead Generation, etc.
Research and Development
The above two lists just show, how complex it could be to setup a Company Employee Handbook. But it doesn’t have to be complex, just start partial. Only include the information which are already available and use the help of your employees. The benefits of having a Company Handbook are numerous, your employees will save time, and it will be easier to improve procedures, because the procedures will be broken down into small sections of the whole procedures. Everything is clearly described, so nobody needs to ask over and over again. In case of holiday or illness of an employee, others could jump into the job, because they could be trained faster.
As employer, you could hire employees with lower education. And your employees will love it, because they know where to look, when they have questions and they could improve their working environment as well. But the most advantage for the owner is, that the organization will be able to work properly, when the business grows and when the owner might sell the business one day, it might get sold easier, because of the proper organization.
When installing a Company Handbook, you will find procedures you could automate. Automating the operation as much as possible will also be a big benefit, because employees and employer are able to focus their workforce on more important topics, such as improving the sales volume. Furthermore automatization will reduce to cost of operation as well.
A Company Employee Handbook is a bit like a Business Plan, but far more detailed, because it will contain information on every internal procedure. Only the financial part of the business plan will not be included, but if you like you might include some financial information you like to share with your employees. As you describe your procedures just do it as a numeration or listing. The description doesn’t have to be very well formed, it is just important that everyone who will read it is able to understand what has to be done.
Remember, a Company Handbook is a living system, if you and your employees are not updating it regularly, it will be death one day, because it will only contain old stuff. So keep all people within your business engaged in improving the Company Handbook, because it will improve your business internal organization as well. While starting to write the content of your Company Handbook, concentrate on job roles at first; afterwards write down job descriptions, in case a job role has been given to employees twice Accounting Staff, etc Job Roles need to include the duties and the responsibilities of the described job.
Job Roles, Job Descriptions and Workflow-Descriptions of special procedures do not have to be the same, but take care that the information is consistent, that means that it is written in a stream. This way the entire Company Handbook will be of benefit for everyone. When rereading something on your Company Handbook and you still have questions, than the entry is not finished.
Last but not least, your Company Employee Handbook should be available every time. To do this, think about an Internet or Intranet Solution, depending on the size of your business. Keep it simple and slim, and you will have many benefits from it. Good Luck.
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