Toolbox: Do You Need An Employee Handbook?

Filed Under: HR, More News

An employee handbook is one of the most important communication tools for your workforce. Not only does it set out your policies so employees’ expectations about their rights and your obligations are clear, it also helps protect your business against employee complaints or even lawsuits. Since the document is so important, many companies look to outside help to ensure their contents are both comprehensive and compliant.

Do I need an employee handbook?

There are many laws that require you to notify employees of certain workplace rights; however, there is no federal or state law that requires you to have an employee handbook. Yet even if you’re a small to mid-sized company, or have just one employee, you should have an employee handbook to help you stay compliant with state and federal regulations to reduce your liability.

Can I create an employee handbook myself?

A good employee handbook provides your workforce with all your guidelines, policies, and procedures so it should be customized to your unique company. While you can search online for free examples or pay for a basic template, that will require you to know the local laws and industry regulations that may apply to your business.

If you don’t have the expertise in house to tailor the content, then it can be a good idea to outsource to an HR provider that offers employee handbook services. At Complete Payroll Solutions, all the handbooks we create are developed by senior HR business partners who are certified professionals.

Employee handbook services 

At Complete Payroll Solutions, we offer two different options for creating a handbook for your workplace: custom handbook development or a handbook wizard.

Custom Handbook: We develop handbooks for companies of all sizes and in all industries. To create a document that suits your needs, we take several steps:

Review your current practices: We start by reviewing any of your company’s policies and procedures that are currently in effect – written or unwritten – for best practices and legal compliance. Based on our findings, we’ll identify areas where we recommend improvement.

Discuss our suggested outline: Once we have assessed your current approach, we’ll explain what we envision for the contents of your handbook, and share an outline of the contents if desired. During this phase of development, we’ll answer any questions you have about why we have recommended any sections to include or exclude.

Create your handbook: After we have a working session on the content, our HR professionals will create a draft of your custom handbook that addresses your specific workforce, industry, and geographic location. We will review this with your team and legal counsel, if desired, before finalizing.

Handbook Wizard: For companies who want to develop their own handbook but with our guidance as an outline, we offer a handbook wizard. This tool allows you to utilize all of the documents available in our online compliance library and include those policies that apply to your organization.

The time it takes to get an employee handbook developed with Complete Payroll Solutions’ services depends on which approach you take. Typically, a custom handbook takes about four weeks. 

How to choose the right employee handbook service provider 

With so many options on the market today, it can be overwhelming to decide the best approach to creating your employee handbook. No matter which option you choose, employee handbook services can be an ideal choice for a business who wants to:

  • Have content developed by certified HR professionals
  • Deploy a handbook quickly, in as little as four weeks
  • Have a low up-front investment and annual maintenance costs
  • Be able to access additional compliance or HR support from a team who already understands your business

Karyn H. Rhodes is vice president HR Solutions at Complete Payroll Solutions. She specializes in all areas of human resources, including strategic planning, employee and labor relations, recruiting, compliance, training and development, compensation and benefits, policies and procedures, organizational development, executive coaching, workforce planning, and affirmative action plans. More info at