It may seem bizarre to some employers or employees that companies might go without an employee handbook. Others might ask, “What’s an employee handbook?”

They are not alone. Many modest-sized businesses go without a handbook, especially in some industries, at least for a while. But experts (and not just expert attorneys) agree that an employee handbook is important for any business. Besides, employees typically appreciate them.

A chance to create a sense of mission in new employees

An employee handbook is an excellent chance to help create a company culture and make it thrive, according to two recent articles from Inc Magazine and the Forbes Council program.

They argue a well-written employee handbook can be fun to read and help newcomers understand and become part of the community they have just joined.

Clear expectations help employers and employee alike

A good handbook spells out expectations for performance and conduct for both the employees and the company. This helps everyone succeed at meeting those expectations.

Also, consider having to let an employee go. It helps if you can both look at the handbook and read for yourselves what went wrong and how the business followed its own procedures. If necessary, having a written policy can also help you show that you let the employee go for fair and reasonable reasons and did it the right way.

More often than you may imagine, employers discover they have said or written something that accidentally created an “implied contract.” Employee handbooks can help avoid these pitfalls, but a qualified legal counsel should look at the handbook. Otherwise, handbooks themselves can create the same issue.

Some up-front effort can save time over the long run

Wisconsin law requires employers to notify employees of a lot of rights and requirements. Unless they are Human Resources professionals themselves, employees and employers alike often find such policies among the most mysterious parts of their jobs. And often, the information changes annually if not more frequently.

By having the important information where employees can always find it, they often feel respected and better able to understand policies when they need to. You might also spend less time answering policy questions.

They are not alone. Many modest-sized businesses go without a handbook, especially in some industries, at least for a while. But experts (and not just expert attorneys) agree that an employee handbook is important for any business. Besides, employees typically appreciate them.

A chance to create a sense of mission in new employees

An employee handbook is an excellent chance to help create a company culture and make it thrive, according to two recent articles from Inc Magazine and the Forbes Council program.

They argue a well-written employee handbook can be fun to read and help newcomers understand and become part of the community they have just joined.

Clear expectations help employers and employee alike

A good handbook spells out expectations for performance and conduct for both the employees and the company. This helps everyone succeed at meeting those expectations.

Also, consider having to let an employee go. It helps if you can both look at the handbook and read for yourselves what went wrong and how the business followed its own procedures. If necessary, having a written policy can also help you show that you let the employee go for fair and reasonable reasons and did it the right way.

More often than you may imagine, employers discover they have said or written something that accidentally created an “implied contract.” Employee handbooks can help avoid these pitfalls, but a qualified legal counsel should look at the handbook. Otherwise, handbooks themselves can create the same issue.

Some up-front effort can save time over the long run

Wisconsin law requires employers to notify employees of a lot of rights and requirements. Unless they are Human Resources professionals themselves, employees and employers alike often find such policies among the most mysterious parts of their jobs. And often, the information changes annually if not more frequently.

By having the important information where employees can always find it, they often feel respected and better able to understand policies when they need to. You might also spend less time answering policy questions.