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Do you have an HR policy manual and/or employee handbook in your workplace?

Do you have an HR policy manual and/or employee handbook in your workplace?

By Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., Managing Editor, HRinfodesk, published by First Reference, October 2014

Many human resources managers and employers ask if there is a difference between a human resources policy manual and an employee handbook. And why they should have one or the other or both.

The latest HRinfodesk poll asked participants if they had a policy manual and/or an employee handbook. Out of a total of 295 participants, 222 respondents (76%) said they had written policies in the form of an employee handbook or policy manual (123 (42%) both/ 52 (18%) policy manual only/ 47 (16%) employee handbook only)

Some respondents were planning or working on written policies, 32 (11%), while 41 (14%) said no or didn't think they needed to.

While discussing with some of the subscribers, some of them argued that the employee handbook is the more important document because it is a summary in an easy to read format, of the relationship between the company and the staff. It should not be the formal human resources policy manual with complete policies and procedures of the company. In their opinion, each major section of the handbook should be represented by a more formal policy and procedure kept in the company's policy manual. However, the content of the more formal policies and procedures manual supersedes the handbook.

Others contend that it does not matter, what matters is the document (policy manual or handbook) that the employees are required to sign-off on and is the one that they reference for answers to all sorts of questions. Others added that the document provided to employees should include the formal policies and procedures of the company so they are fully aware of all implications and the process employers intend to use to enforce the policy.

This seems to be an issue employer's and HR Professionals struggle with to this day since we were asked to feature such a poll back in 2009.

Since the commentary is still relevant, I will link you back to it for review.