An employee handbook is a document created by HR and given to employees by an employer to share job-related information that employees need to know. Also called an employee manual, company policy manual, or staff handbook; it can provide written guidance and information about the company’s history, mission, values, policies, and procedures.
With employees more interested than ever before in working for a business whose values align with their own, it may make sense to share the employee handbook publicly. Having your mission, values, and company policies and procedures available online is one way to attract prospective employees who align with your company ideals. But are there risks to sharing this document publicly? Why do some companies share their employee handbooks with the public while others keep them private?
Risks and Benefits of Sharing an Employee Handbook Publicly
While most organizations agree that it’s important to have an employee handbook, opinions on the exact content and how and with whom to share it vary. Let’s take a look at some of the risks and benefits of sharing your company policy manual publicly vs keeping it private.
Risks of sharing your employee handbook publicly
1. Your competitors can read it and copy some of your company policies or proprietary information.
2. Potential employees may read something they don’t like and, whether they understand the intent or not, choose not to apply for a position at your business.
3. An outdated, poorly written, or overly generic employee handbook can turn off potential applicants.
4. Make a company more open to discrimination claims in the interview process when exceptions are made to written employee policies.
Benefits of sharing an employee handbook publicly
1. Attract applicants who share your company values/save time and money interviewing applicants who aren’t a good fit.
2. Give new hires some basic information about working for your business before they start the job.
3. By posting the handbook online, you are exhibiting a high level of transparency. You are showing prospective employees that you have nothing to hide and that you are open about how your business operates.
4. Encouraging new hires to review the handbook before their orientation and onboarding process is a great way to solidify their desire to work for the company. It can also stimulate useful questions that can help the newly hired employee better understand how the business operates.
5. Openly sharing the employee manual can help avoid confusion and frustration over policies that directly affect workers such as how vacation hours are accrued and the details of sick pay.
Whether your company decides to share their employee handbook publicly or not, it is important that anyone who accepts a job with your company has a good understanding of your company policies and procedures, mission, and values. Even if you choose not to share this document online, it can be hugely beneficial to provide the information to anyone whom the company is ready to make a job offer. This way, they can get a good sense for company culture and values before accepting the offer.
Partnering with Makai HR
Need HR support for your small business? We’ve got you covered through HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can get on with the business you are trying to grow while we take care of your employee needs from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are compliant with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long and changes happen). When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services, and technology solutions.
With the cost of doing business in Hawaii at record highs, we know how important it is to keep labor costs in line with revenue. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs. We offer a 100% paperless solution which means that your employees can manage their needs through a computer, tablet, or phone. We can truly improve your employees’ work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.
What are you waiting for? Companies that partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!