The Benefit of Employee Handbooks (Plus a Tool to Help Craft One)

employee Handbook

Stated simply, an employee handbook is one of the best ways to avoid misunderstandings; to ensure fair, consistent treatment of employees; and to help protect your business from lawsuits. 

More specifically, a well-written handbook:

  • Communicates to employees important information about the company and its practices;
  • Establishes clear procedures and policies for a variety of situations;
  • Provides guidance on personnel matters, such as leaves of absence;
  • Explains your benefits package;
  • Sets performance expectations;
  • Communicates company procedures for disciplinary actions; and
  • Explains other important issues, such as the company’s policies on harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Oftentimes, employers may choose not to offer an employee handbook because of how intimidating the task may seem, but it’s well worth the effort, because keeping all well-written and comprehensive policies together in an employee handbook helps promote fairness and consistency in the way employees are treated — reducing the potential for not only discrimination but also overall confusion about where the employer stands on covered topics.

Easing the burden for California employers is CalChamber’s newly enhanced Employee Handbook Creator Online Tool, which simplifies the creation and revising of a handbook with California-specific policies, including local county and city policy information by using a “Wizard” that guides employers through the process of creating their handbook, asking a series of questions to identify and explain the various policies relevant to them.

In addition to the Employee Handbook Creator’s fresh look and feel, additional improvements include a more user-friendly interface and simplified navigation that makes the handbook creation process even more intuitive. This includes:

  • A streamlined process for completing required policy updates.
  • More insightful steps to help users manually create their handbook if they choose not to use the Wizard.
  • A filter option inside your handbook to view your policies, according to whether they are mandatory, suggested or optional.
  • A simplified tool bar for editing policies within your handbook.
  • Updated, user-friendly navigation buttons throughout site.
  • An easier process for renewing a handbook.
  • Enhanced support materials, including a How-To Guide, FAQs and HR Glossary, all of which assist users in creating comprehensive and compliant employee handbooks.
  • A new, comprehensive Wizard Planning Guide helps users gather the information required for building their handbook from internal stakeholders so they’re armed with that data before starting the Wizard.

It’s important to note that these enhancements are separate from 2024 policy updates; users will receive a separate email when those updates are live (and because an Employee Handbook Creator purchase includes one year of access, the 2024 new laws updates will be included in all purchases going forward).

And keep in mind that the Employee Handbook Creator isn’t necessarily limited to a single annual update. CalChamber also updates the Employee Handbook Creator throughout the year, as needed, so as long as you have an active subscription, you’ll get midyear updates, too. For instance, in late October, 14 policies were updated to reflect the National Labor Relations Board’s significant Stericycle, Inc. decision that raised the level of scrutiny handbook rules will face when challenged for allegedly violating the National Labor Relations Act.

Check out CalChamber’s enhanced Employee Handbook Creator (EHC) for your handbook creation and revision needs. And to learn more about the benefits of creating and maintaining an employee handbook, download the Employee Handbooks: A Workplace Essential white paper (available to CalChamber members on HRCalifornia). Not a member? See how CalChamber can help you.

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