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 Laurdan Associates, Inc. 
 

Employee Handbooks and Policy Development

Employee handbooks and policy statements are a double-edged sword.  On one side employee handbooks communicate and document required and important information; help answer the employy questions: "Why should I work here?"; can he a valuable public relations tool; help delineate organizational prerogatives; reduce employees' uncertainty and stress about what the organization expects from them and what they should expect from the organization; and forces the organization to think about its values, culture, business objectives, and budget.

On the other side, employee handbooks can be time-consuming and expensive to create; are often out-of-date before they are completed; and if poorly drafted, can be used against the organization.  Further complicating the use of employee handbooks are several informational, organizational, and structural dynamics.  First, employee handbooks must balance the need for formality and language precision with effective communication.  Too much formality and employees will not read the handbook or policy statement; too little, and the organization may fail to meet legal requirements.  Second, the composition of the work force is becoming increasingly diverse.  This diversity requires new and creative methods of communicating employment policies.  Third, hierarchical compression, telecommunting, advances in technology, and the global economy are affecting the structure and channels of communication.  In this environment clear and timely information has become more important but more difficult to achieve.

Laurdan's employee handbook and employment policies drafting activities are designed to help an organization:

  1. Enhance its employment brand;
  2. Attract and retain top performers and key employees;
  3. Give employees a sense of belonging;
  4. Contribute to organizational orderliness;
  5. Enhance employee morale;
  6. Contribute to workplace safety and productivity; and
  7. Reduce its exposure to employment related liabilities