Top 10 Reasons Your Small Business Needs an Employee Handbook

10 Reasons Your Small Business Needs an Employee Handbook

“Do we really need an employee handbook if we only have 12 employees?”

I’m asked this question - or a version of this question - a lot. And maybe it’s the ‘binder lady’ part of me that goes nuts for structure and organization, but I love answering this question. I won’t skip a beat in saying that whether your small business has 2 employees or 70, you should absolutely create an employee handbook.

What is an employee handbook?

In the simplest sense, it’s a book of clarity. An employee handbook, also known as an employee manual or HR manual, is essentially an operating manual to help you and your staff navigate the complex network and operational details that make up your workplace.

If done right, its not just a rule book, but a guide that provides information that brings people together, aligns your staff, helps them understand your company values and culture, and helps them to work towards a common goal.  

Top 10 reasons you need an employee handbook

Our top 10 reasons why your small business needs an employee handbook, employee manual or HR policy manual:

  1. Clearly communicate what's expected of staff and eliminate ambiguity. If an employee signs off on your conduct policies as part of a contract, they’re much more likely to adhere to them.  
  2. Protect your company against the NOTMIC
  3. Provide operational information to staff, even when their managers are absent.
  4. Provide guidelines for managers when hiring and dealing with human resources issues. Your employee handbook plays 'bad cop' for soft or inexperienced managers, and 'good cop' for more heavy-handed ones.
  5. Communicate information about your company's business and culture so staff understand the big picture and the 'how' things are done in your company.
  6. Get an instant, documented orientation program for new hires that significantly accelerates the learning curve.
  7. Demonstrate to job candidates, new hires, and potential investors that your company is pro-active, organized, and well-run. Top talent wants to work for well-run companies. 
  8. Help management make decisions that are consistent, uniform and predictable, supporting consistent treatment of staff, fairness and transparency.
  9. Decrease liability by ensuring up-to-date and timely compliance information is available to all staff.
  10. Satisfy criteria required for obtaining certain types of business insurance, for example, Directors and Officers Liability Insurance.

How to get started

Fast-track version:

Check out our ConnectsUs HR Toolkit that includes a Canadian Employee Handbook kit that features: 

  • a basic employee handbook template; and
  • a complete Employee/Orientation Manual template
  • access to all provincial versions of each template for Ontario, BC, and Alberta.  


View sample policies

Employee Handbook Sample

Click the icon to preview 25 sample pre-written policies and topics to get a sense of how the policies are structured and written. 

More accurate version:

Don’t have time to create an employee handbook yourself? ConnectsUs HR™ will get your employee handbook or HR manual over the finish line. Contact us for a proposal.

Main Take Away?

No matter how many employees you have, an employee manual or employee handbook is an essential tool for running your business.

Have you created your employee handbook yet?

about the Employee Handbook Kit

Sarah Visca
Sarah Visca is the Operations Manager at ConnectsUs HR, a company that provides tools & resources to quickly set up a Human Resources department.  
You can contact her here