Ten reasons why companies don’t believe they need an employee handbook

By - April 27, 2017

Shouldn’t all companies have employee handbooks?  As Human Resource (HR) professionals, we’d say yes, but here are some of our favorite reasons why some companies believe they don’t:

  1. Employers like testing everyone’s memory-managers and employees alike.
  2. Employers prefer continual face-to-face interaction with their employees, particularly when rushing to an important meeting.
  3. The company’s expectations of employees change daily, so the HR policies should too.
  4. The company believes that the less employees know, the more committed they’ll be to the company.
  5. The status quo is fantastic, so no need to rock the boat.
  6. The company envisions handbooks for larger companies only; smaller companies can wing it.
  7. The company enjoys the thrill of dodging bullets.
  8. Employees are encouraged to do their own thing because it makes the workplace seem creative.
  9. Employees may complain because a handbook is “way too corporate.”
  10.  The company is immune from all employee lawsuits.

Why should companies have employee handbooks? 

First, employers have compliance obligations to notify employees of certain benefits and policies such as Family and Medical Leave, time off, workers compensation and reporting allegations of harassment or discrimination. Second, employees need to know what behaviors are expected of them and what they need to know about their work environment such as work hours, pay days, paid time off and dress code.  Communicating workplace expectations is critical and if not communicated in writing become disparate practices.  Employee handbooks don’t have to be long, and they don’t have to be written in legal terms, but what they do need to clearly reflect are the rules, notices, expectations of the company and acknowledgment of receipt by the employee.

RSM’s team of HR consultants can assist in creating or reviewing employee handbooks. To learn more about how RSM can assist you with your other business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.


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