By Lina Martinez

Every employee handbook goes through countless revisions. Perhaps you haven’t managed to create one for your startup yet, or maybe your company never seemed to need one? It is always a good idea to lay out the common requirements for employees in your company. Individual contracts of employment simply don’t go into the level of detail needed for you to ensure there are global standards for your firm. What information should be in a staff handbook?

Dress And Behavior

Most contracts of employment do touch upon required uniform or standard of dress. They may also have a sentence about perceived levels of professional behavior. Of course, the company as a whole may have a preferred image. The handbook might discuss why this is essential to the business. It may also layout the regulations and legal requirements concerning safety wear if appropriate. As for behavior, your business may have a fraternization policy. Perhaps there is a personal internet usage allowance or other restriction you wish to mention?     

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Professional Development

Does your business offer employees financial assistance for education and professional development? Why not detail this in your handbook. Many companies strive to ensure all employees above a certain pay band are degree educated and qualified. When it comes to technology, regular training is essential to stay on top of new developments. Point staff in the direction of courses like those at UAB online where they can continue their education. Your handbook might disclose your policy for offering two hours per week for professional development. If staff development is a priority for your business, then this may form the largest section of your handbook.

Health And Fitness

This can be a very touchy and sensitive subject. There are, of course, many roles that demand a high level of fitness and good health. These physically demanding roles often come with employer-led fitness programs or training. This ensures the staff are ready for action. If the majority of your employees are office-based, you may still have a responsibility to them to ensure their physical and mental health. Add these details to your handbook. You may offer two hours per week for subsidized gym classes, or bring a massage therapist into the office. Use the handbook to add clarity to the use of this provision.


The handbook is a good place to detail your working time regulations and requirements. If it suits the business to provide breaks at particular times, then detail this clearly. Businesses that operate services like call centers often have to ask staff to work shift patterns of set hours. If this is the case, make it clear how employees are to log their working time and breaks. In some places, it is necessary to provide specified areas for smoking breaks. Make sure this is detailed in your handbook, or clarify that employees must be off-site for this.

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Hygiene And Safety

All the little details, including a policy on eating at desks, or sharing cleaning duties, should be in the handbook. Some places are governed by law concerning these matters. Any changes or updates should be logged and shared with the staff as they happen. How do you set the standards for your staff?