6 Tips to make an employee handbook that employees will actually read

You’ve spent time and resources creating a custom employee handbook for your organization, yet all too often items are overlooked or altogether skipped over by employees. How do you create an employee handbook that employees will actually take the time to read from front to end? We’ve compiled some tips to help address this common issue:

Keep it simple.

It is much easier to integrate guidelines and policies into your organization’s daily practices when they’re framed in language your employees can understand without difficulty. Make sure the language used in your employee handbook is clear and concise to ensure your handbook is accessible to your full workforce. Also, be sure to space out information so your employees don’t feel as though they are reading a novel.

Add some color.

Your employees are more likely to read your employee handbook if you make it visually appealing. Colours, graphics and other design principles make information easier to digest for your viewer.

Use Photos.

Including photos of your team in action is a great way to give visual context to many of the topics you cover – especially when it comes to your corporate culture. For example; if your office allows dogs at the office, include photos of all of your office dogs. If photos of your organization are not available, stock images can also be used for a similar effect.   

Champion it.

Make sure your employee handbook is an integral part of the onboarding process. Allocate an hour for the HR department to walk-through your employee handbook with new hires and encourage them to ask questions to ensure they understand the information covered. Additionally, anytime there is an update to your employee handbook, ensure the HR team reviews these changes with your workforce.

Get it in writing.

It’s a good idea to have employees sign and date a statement that acknowledges that they have received and read your employee handbook. This is to indicate that the employee has read and understood the information provided in the employee handbook.

Go digital.

Ensure your employee handbook is easily accessible to your workforce both in print at the office, and online. In addition to providing each employee with a copy, It’s a good idea to distribute a digital copy through email too; make sure that your digital copy is optimized for desktop, phone and tablet to allow employees to access this document on all of their devices.

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