Tips on Implementing Your Employee Manual


19 Apr, 2022

How should a company that has never had an employee manual go about implementing their new Employee Handbook with their team?

If you have never had an employee handbook before, adding in a new employee manual will be a cultural shift for your team.

Start with training your managers first on their roles and responsibilities. Talk them through the manual in some depth and make sure each manager has access to a copy to read through and discuss with you.

Your managers will want input into how the procedures work on the ground in their area. For example, when someone is ill, should they ring Mary on the front desk by 8am or text their manager by 7am?

Managers may want to edit the words of the manual to better match their understanding of the internal operating processes of your company. Allow that editing process if you can, but retain the final approval of the changes.

Once your managers are aware of the content and have reviewed the manual, then inform your employees of your new manual and a broad overview of the contents.

You may choose to consult with your employees over the content of your manual if you wish.

Once you have a final version for your workplace then run a training session where you talk through the most important policies with all your employees.

You want this training to be similar to a new induction, where you draw a line in the sand about how your business does things around here now.

Keep records of who attended and keep these records with your employee files.

Make sure each employee and manager can access the manual – either electronically or through a printed copy located in each work team.

If you store the file in shared Dropbox or Google Drive folder, make sure that it is read only and not able to be edited by employees.

One final tip: The first time your managers do any significant HR process with the new rules – such as recruitment or a performance review, offer to sit with them while they go through the process to help them learn as they go.

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Ingrid: Lead Author, Australian Employee Manual

HR Author and Lecturer with over 25 years' experience in human resources and workplace relations in Australia. Lead Author of Instant HR Policies & Procedures, NDIS Direct Employment HR Manual, and Employee Performance Reviews: Tips, Templates and Tactics.

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We are an Australian human resources business specialising in small businesses and not for profits, based in Brisbane, Australia.


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