Creating Your Employee Handbook

Creating Your Employee Handbook, by Leyna Bernstein and the Management Center, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2000. 256 pp.

Need an employee manual, but don’t know where to start? Creating Your Employee Handbook can help you out. It gives three sample versions – for small, medium/traditional, and large/”leading edge” organizations – of each of the parts and policies that go into an employee handbook. Sidebars highlight some of the key things to consider when forming each policy for yourself.

The accompanying disk (MS Word) makes creating your own handbook file a simple matter of cut and paste, but assumes that an organization will generally pull all its policies from only one of their three categories, making anyone who wants to pick and choose switch awkwardly back and forth between three different documents.

The book is aimed at social service agencies, so development and advocacy organizations will have to tweak the language a little, but it’s not too much work. A few important topics are missing, including limits on lobbying for 501(c)3 organizations and an explanation of governance structures, and the sample forms section could be expanded. Overall, however, this is a worthwhile investment to get you over that initial hurdle to getting something down on paper!

You can order this book through Shelterforce’s Online Bookstore

Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.


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