How to write Company Hand book
Company hand book –is a detailed instructions through which a company operates. Employees of a company are expected to follow the lay down rules and regulations as contained in the hand book.
If an employee behaves in a manner that is against these rules and regulations, the company will have no choice that to take action against the staff. This article contains step by step guide you as an employer need to follow so that you can write your own company hand book with ease.
The first page of company hand book should contain a brief welcome note, informing your employees that they are welcome to your company. A brief introduction of your company should follow immediately. Your company name, what your company does and your company’s mission statement.
Below is a good example of a company welcome note.
“We welcome you to mytmoro where excellence and professionalism is at its peak.
mytmoro is an online platform registered to serve as office information hub for Human Resources Managers, Administrative managers and Management officers.
Our mission is to become a national reference point in the field of Office Information Management through quality information delivery.”
This section of company hand book should contain your company physical address, your mode of operations, and the kind of people you employ? see example below.
“Mytmoro operates from its Head Office situated at Grade 1 Area Court Arab Road, Kubwa Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Nigeria
We employ and retain intelligent, resourceful professionals on all levels whose keen interest and objectives align with the goal of the company.”
An overview is the section where you are expected to explain what the handbook is all about. Who is expected to have the hand book, who is expected to abide by the rules of the hand book and who is exempted by the rules and regulations as contained in the handbook.
Do you intend to modify your hand book anytime soon? you should explain all these under overview. Below is a good example of a handbook overview.
”The hand book has been developed to provide general guidelines about policies and procedures for employees.
It is developed to acquaint employees with the company’s standard of operation, to enable employees align themselves with the objectives and operations of the company.
The company will provide each individual a copy of this Hand book upon employment. All employees are expected to abide by it.
The company expects each employee to display good judgement, diplomacy and courtesy in their professional relationships with other staff members, vendors, clients and the general public.
None of the policies or guidelines in the Hand book is intended to give rise to contractual rights or obligations, or to be construed as a guarantee of employment for any specific period of time, or any specific type of work.
These guidelines are subject to modification, amendment and/or revocation by the company at any time, without prejudice.”
Equal Employment Opportunity:
What set of people do you employ?, Does your company employ job seekers outside your zone or region?. This section of your company hand book should explain in detail the kind of people that works in your company in terms of age, sex, race and political affiliation. See this format below as a guide.
Mytmoro is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status and political affiliation.
Each employee/applicant is evaluated on the basis of personal skill and merit. Our policy regarding equal employment opportunity applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, job assignments, promotions, working conditions, scheduling, benefits, wage and salary administration, disciplinary action, termination.
The Company General Manager should be the one to act as the responsible agent in the full implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity policy.
Policy against Workplace Harassment:
Is your company a safe place to work?
Every company should be committed to providing a work environment for all employees free from sexual harassment and other types of discriminatory harassment.
You should instruct your employees to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to show respect to co-workers.
Your company’s obligatory role should begins with the recognition and acknowledgment that sexual harassment and other types of discriminatory harassment are unlawful. To reinforce this commitment, the company should developed a policy against harassment and a reporting procedure for employees who have been subjected to or witnessed harassment.
This policy should apply to all work‐related settings and activities, whether inside or within the workplace.
Under this section, the company’s property (e.g. telephones, copy machines, computers, and computer applications such as e‐mail and Internet access) should not be used to engage in conduct that violates this policy.
Prohibition of Other Types of Discriminatory Harassment:
Here, your company policy should also speak against engaging in verbal or physical misconduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual for any reason that:
(a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive working environment.
(b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interfering with an individual’s work performance or
(c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities. Depending on the circumstances, the following conduct may constitute discriminatory harassment;
- Negative stereotyping, jokes, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts that relate to race, color, gender, religion, age, national origin, and
- written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual, his/her race, color, gender, religion, national origin and circulated in the workplace, or placed anywhere in the company’s premises such as on an employee’s desk or notice board.
Other conduct may also constitute discriminatory harassment if it falls within the definition of discriminatory harassment set forth above.
It should also be against the company’s policy to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint of discriminatory harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of a complaint of discriminatory harassment.
Reporting of Harassment:
Under this section, company hand book should inform your employees that if anyone believes that he has experienced any form of harassment by any employee of of the company, then the person should report the incident immediately to his or her Supervisor or to the Human Resources Department who in turn reports to the General Manager so that appropriate action can be taken.
Company hand book should state clearly that the Management will promptly and thoroughly investigate all reports of harassment as discreetly and confidentially as possible. The policy should also state that the investigation would generally include a private interview with the person making a report of harassment.
It would also generally be necessary to discuss allegations of harassment with the accused individual and others who may have information relevant to the investigation.
Your Management should conduct an investigation thorough enough to determine whether harassment occurred, and to determine what action to take if it is determined that improper behavior occurred.
If after proper investigation and your management determined that a violation of the company’s policy has occurred, appropriate disciplinary action should be taken against the offending party, which can include counseling, warnings, suspensions, and in most cases termination.
The handbook should also explain what happens to employees who report violations of the policy and employees who cooperate with investigations of the alleged violations.
Will they also be punished?. Compliance with the company’s policy is a condition of each employee’s employment. You should also your encourage your employees to raise any questions or concerns about the policy.
Every successful company should provide a safe and drug free work environment. Alcohol and illegal drug abuse are a threat to the health and safety of employees, as such your company should be committed to the elimination of illegal (hard) drugs and/or alcohol use and abuse in the workplace.
Your company policy should apply to all staff and all applicants for employment.
Employee must report to work fit for duty and free of any adverse effects of illegal drugs or alcohol and remain so during work. Our policy does not prohibit staff from the lawful use and possession of prescribed medications.
Staff must, however, consult with their doctors about the medications effect on their fitness for duty and ability to work safely and promptly disclose any work restrictions to their Supervisor.
What are the rules and regulations through which you company operates? Every company should have does and don’ts for example,
Employees operating company vehicles and machinery within and outside the company premises, or conducting related work off-site should be prohibited from the following.
- Using, in possession of, buying, selling, manufacturing or dispensing an illegal hard drug (to include possession of drug paraphernalia).
- Being under the influence of alcohol or an illegal hard drug as defined in this policy.
You company policy should prohibits the possession of any detectable amount of any illegal hard drug or illegal substance by an employee while performing company business.
Your company policy should grant permission to employee from performing their duties while taking prescribed drugs that are adversely affecting the employee’s ability to safely and effectively perform their job. You can instruct the staff taking a prescribed medication to carry it in the container labeled by a licensed pharmacist or be prepared to produce it if asked.
Does your employees always beg for money from your visitors?
You company handbook should prohibit employees from soliciting (personally or via electronic office mail) for pledges, the collection of money or for any other unauthorized purpose anywhere on the company’s property during work time, especially those of clients, vendors, or visitors of the company.
“Work time” includes time spent in actual performance of job duties but does not include lunch periods or breaks. Your company hand book should state when an employee is supposed to resume and close from work.
You company handbook should inform your employees that the HR Department are the one to receive Curriculum Vitis/ Resumes on behalf of the company and schedules interviews.
Candidates who get to the final stages of screening and are successful after the interview process will be issued offer letters and employment letters from the Human Resources Department after which the employee will commence the documentation process.
Documents that you may ask your employees to provide:
- Application Letter.
- Curriculum Vitae/ Resume.
- Credentials and Certificates.
- Two passport photographs.
- National ID Card.
- Bank Verification Number (BVN)
- Opening of salary account.
Documents that you as an employer may provide:
1. Employment Letter (from the employer).
2. Guarantor letters with their means of identification.
3. Employee Update Form (where next of kin, home addresses are applicable).
4. Company Employee Handbook.
5. Confidentiality Agreement.
6. Employee ID Card.
7. Uniforms (if applicable).
8. Medicals (fitness examination- if applicable).
9. Submission of Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) number.
What happens after documentation, your company’s hand book should state in detail what happen to an employee from the point of interview to the point where the candidate if fully employed.
After the documentation process has been concluded, the Human Resources Department is expected to issue an approval to hire letter, followed by an offer letter. If the terms and conditions of employment are favorable and satisfactory to the selected candidate, an employment letter would be issued.
You company can employ candidate based on contract employment or Permanent employment. Which ever mode of employment you chose, the company’s hand book should state the terms attached.
- Contract Staff:
Under this section, an employee is contracted to work for the company for a given period depending on the project. This employment contract is tied to the duration of the project. If performance is not satisfactory, or for any other reason the company or the employee may decide to terminate the contract.
An employee contract may be renewed (if the company wishes to further engage the employees’ services) or after expiration with same terms except in situations such as termination, disengagement of service, discrimination/workplace harassment and/or theft.
- Permanent Staff:
Here, the company reserves the right to employ individuals of high professional standards for the company’s projects on a fulltime basis. However, the employees once employed are put on a probationary period after which they are reviewed before confirmation and conversion to permanent status if their performance is satisfactory.
Attendance is a key factor to optimal performance. Punctuality and regular attendance is expected by all employees.
Your company resumption and closing time should be stated in the company handbook
If your company is rich enough, you can get a biometric machines where daily attendance record is logged and sent to the H/R Department for documentation and discipline..
Your company hand book should inform your staff that reporting to work as at when due is expected of all employees.
Your company should operates in fairness to employees, and employees should be given the opportunity to report to /notify your Supervisor or Head of Department ahead of resumption time in the event of lateness or any unforeseen circumstance.
If an employee is absent from duty for any unanticipated reason, the Human Resources Department, and the employee’s immediate Supervisor must be notified and the reason/nature of the problem causing the absence indicated. However, you as an employer should not tolerate excessive excuses for the good of your company.
Employee Attendance Policy:
The objective of your policy as regards attendance should be to set forth the company’s procedures for handling employee absences and as well minimize unscheduled absences.
Punctual and regular attendance should be an essential responsibility of every employee in your company. Employees are expected to report to work as scheduled, on time and prepared to start working. Employees also are expected to remain at work for their entire work schedule. Late arrival, early departure or other absences from scheduled hours are disruptive and must be avoided.
“Absence” is defined as the failure of an employee to report for work when he or she is scheduled to work. The two types of absences are defined below:
- Excused absence occurs when all the following conditions are met:
- The employee provides to his or her supervisor sufficient notice at least 48 hours in advance of the absence.
- The employee’s supervisor approves the absence request in advance.
- The employee has sufficient accrued paid time off (PTO) to cover the absence.
Unexcused absence occurs when any of the above conditions are not met. If it is necessary for an employee to be absent or late for work because of an illness or an emergency, the employee must notify his or her supervisor no later than the employee’s scheduled starting time on that same day. If the employee is unable to call, he or she must have someone make the call.
An unexcused absence should count as one occurrence for the purposes of discipline under this policy.
Employees with two (2) or more consecutive days of excused absences because of illness or injury should provide proof of physician’s care (medical report) and a fitness for duty release prior to returning to work.
Tardiness and Early Departure:
Employees are expected to report to work and return from scheduled breaks on time. If employees cannot report to work as scheduled, they must notify their supervisor no later than their regular starting time. This notification should not excuse the tardiness but simply notifies the supervisor that a schedule change may be necessary.
Also, company, hand book should inform employees that anyone who must leave work before the end of their scheduled shift must notify a supervisor immediately.
Tardiness and early departures are each one-half an occurrence for the purpose of discipline under this policy.
Excessive absenteeism is defined as two or more occurrences of unexcused absence in a 30-day period and will result in disciplinary action. Company hand book should give a specific number of absence in a 12-month period that are considered grounds for termination.
Company hand book should explain what happens to any employee who fails to report to work for a period of three days or more without notifying his or her supervisor. Such employee should be considered to have abandoned the job and may be voluntarily terminated or made to serve punishment.
Anything contrary to the above policies must be channeled to the employee’s supervisor, who communicates with the Human Resources Manager for proper documentation and necessary disciplinary action.
Except proven otherwise, an employee who is absent from work for one week without notification to his or her supervisor, the Human Resources Department or the General Manager should be considered to have voluntarily terminated his or her employment (except in peculiar cases).
Routing of Information:
Company hand book should inform all employees that they are expected to route reports of misconduct or issues in office or site to their heads of department or Project Managers and HR department who in turn are expected to route information received to the management for proper action to be taken.
Your company should operate amicable settlement of dispute amongst employees, between staff and vendors and does not tolerate fighting or engaging in physical combat as a means of settlement of dispute.
As a work place, the environment should be made work friendly devoid of scuffles and fights and should remain so. Should you have an unresolved matter with any member of staff, you are expected to inform the Head of your department and the Admin/HR department or any company’s constituted authority.
In the event of violations or engaging in physical combat, the offender should be placed on an unpaid suspension for a period of time determined by the management.
Company hand book should explain what happens to an employee who has been transferred outside his original home of abode to another city for work purpose. Your company should be ready to provide accommodation for the employee for a specified period as agreed by the management.
Discipline as a form of corrective measure/punitive measure taken against a staff should be applied in proportion to the nature of offense committed as the management sees fit such as;
- Verbal warning,
- Written warning
- Unpaid Suspension from work for a period determined by the management.
Your Company should operates on zero tolerance when it comes to theft of company property. Whatever the employee’s reason may be, an employee should not be expected to take for himself any material belonging to the company without authorization.
In cases of unauthorized movement of company property causing loss to the company or resulting in police investigation, all suspected employees should be placed on unpaid suspension as long as the investigation lasts.
Listed below are examples of offenses which carry immediate punishment or dismissal ;
- Aiding and abetting fraud
- Corruption or attempting to corrupt other employees
- Being in possession or caught with hard drugs
- Conducts likely to endanger life or safety of others
- Causing damage to company’s property
- Gross insubordination
- Divulging company’s secrets
- Any other offense which the employer considers to be serious enough to warrant a dismissal.
Annual Performance review:
Your employees performance review should be done periodically based on appraisals which should be linked to to the employee’s duties and performance. The review after all appraisals should be at the discretion of the management.
A performance review may not always result in an automatic salary increase. The staff’s overall performance and salary level relative to his/her position responsibilities are evaluated to determine if a salary increase would be warranted.
Employees who are engaged in or assigned special assignment by the management should be compensated relative to the assigned duty.
Annual Leave Policy:
Company hand book should state who and who that are entitled to annual leave?
There are two (2) categories of employees entitled to annual leave. The Junior Permanent Staff and the Senior Permanent Staff.
The Junior Permanent Staff after the completion of One (1) year in service may be entitled to twenty- one (21) days holiday leave per calendar year at full pay or no pay in addition to normal public holidays.
The Senior Permanent Staff after the completion of One (1) year in service may also be entitled to thirty (30) days holiday leave per calendar year at full pay or no pay at all in addition to normal public holidays.
Company hand book should explain what happens to new employees who not up to One (1) year in service. Are they also qualified for/entitled to annual leave. An employee hired on contract appointment should not be allowed to go for annual leave. However, they should be paid for work done during approved Federal Government holidays.
Company hand book should inform staff if the company closes annually every December.
Policy on Leave Request Procedures:
Company hand book should inform employees that all forms of requests- leave requests, salary advances, compassionate leave/absence from duty should contain detailed information from the applicant- name, surname, designation, and location at the end of the application.
Afterwards, the application should receive consent from the Head of Department before the Human Resources Manager makes a recommendation.
The Heads of Department or Project Managers should give their approval or otherwise before the application is forwarded to the Human Resources Manager.
The Managing Director, Technical Director or the General Manager should give final approval and authorization.
Company hand book should inform employees the time frame for submission all request before the request date to initiate the approval process except in extremely critical situations, two (2) days should be considered or based on Management’s discretion.
The Company’s Management may grant an employee compassionate leave. This could be on a case by case basis and at the management’s discretion.
Company hand book should inform employees that they are expected to submit to the HR department sick leave certificate from a medical practitioner for any absence longer than 24hours. The submitted report should be reviewed on a case by case basis and upon Management’s considerations may or may not be paid for.
An employee may be allowed special leave to sit for examination, however, approval will be based on the requirement of the job and the discretion of the management. An exam timetable must be attached to a written request made to the General Manager’s office through the HR department.
An employee who has worked in your company for a minimum of two years should be granted leave with or without pay to study. Your company hand book should inform an employee who wish to further his or her studies that the course must be relevant to his/her career within the company.
However, the leave should be approved with or without payment or benefit and the time taken off may or may not count as part of employee service in the company.
Furthermore, management should not guarantee the employer his position on return from study leave.
Company hand book should explain what happens to Nursing mothers in the company. Nursing mothers may be permitted to resume one (1) hour later than the usual resumption time and close 30 minutes earlier than the closing time to enable them nurse their babies. This should be only for a short period of time after which resumption and closing schedule will revert to company’s time.
Training is an essential tool in the pursuit of organizational objectives. Your company should be committed to providing best in house training for its employees to ensure that they are equipped to carry on their duties to exceed performance expectations.
Company hand book should explain what happens to former employees who left the company in good standing. Will they be considered for reemployment. What process should they take for reemployment?. Usually, an application should be submitted to the Human Resource department, and the applicant must meet all minimum qualifications and requirements of the position, including any qualifying exam, when required.
An applicant or staff who is terminated for violating policy or who resigned from employment due to a policy violation may be ineligible for rehire or may be your company need the service of the said applicant.
In the case of pandemic, political crisis, rioting, or any other crisis, the company should reserve the right to place the staff on stood off with pre-agreed compensation.
ALL THE STAFF SHOULD HAVE THE OBLIGATION TO KEEP TO THE GUIDELINES OF THE COMPANY HAND BOOK