Employee handbook contains a detailed introduction to the organization. It may include the history of the organization, how it came into being, what is its purpose and how it is being operated. It may also contain some disclaimers such as the employee handbook does not create a relationship between an employer and employee. It might also say that the handbook is subject to change under any circumstances and it is not a final exhaustive guide to any issues that might arise under the course of the employment.
According to Wikipedia, A mission statement is a short statement of why an organization exists, what its overall goal is, identifying the goal of its operations: what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. It may include a short statement of such fundamental matters as the organization’s values or philosophies, a business’s main competitive advantages, or a desired future state—the vision”.
The c of the company makes an employee understand what is the mission of the company. The employee can assess whether the organization is working towards achieving its mission, is it in the same direction or is it deviating from its mission. An employee would not like to work for an organization which is deviating from its mission statement.
Policies of the company in relation to the employees. This is the most important part of the handbook for the employee as it states the policies which apply in the day to day workings of the organization to the employee.
All employees of the company have to follow these policies, even the CEO and the Managing Director.
Policies in employee handbook should usually contain written policies of the company pertaining to equal employment opportunities, your employment relationship with the company, recruitment, and hiring, specific policies relating to the type of employees viz, exempt employees, non-exempt employees, full-time employees, part-time employees, and temporary employees.
It may also contain policies forming part of your compensation. Compensation can include payroll practices, salary deductions and withholding, taxes, insurance and other deductions forming part of your salary. Also detailed are the types of insurance policies you are covered in such as Medical insurance, employee and employer contributions to pension funds according to the legal laws and life Insurance if any. Insurance cover of employees also covers spouse, parents and dependent family members. It is an added benefit.
Holidays and other leaves which form part of your employment terms are also mentioned in the employee handbook. Employers nowadays offer many kinds of leaves such as Religious festival leaves, holiday leaves, compulsory vacation, sick leave, casual leaves, maternal leaves, paternal leaves, medical leaves, etc.
Many employers offer work from home facilities to select employees in order for them to work efficiently. These maybe detailed down in the handbook when an employee can avail these facilities, in what conditions, etc.
Discipline forms a very important part of an organization’s culture. Discipline issues can be basic as well as complex. It can start from the dress code of an employee to keep all employees safe in the organization. The major impetus is given today to employee harassment. Vigorous punishments are put in place to discourage sexual or mental harassment of an employee. It also mentions when an employee can be dismissed from employment on disciplinary grounds. Every employee should maintain strict confidentiality of all sensitive information and data of the organization and its clients. Various grievances committees are put in place by the employer to resolve complaints relating to harassment or other issues. Whistleblower management is also included in the discipline.