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Does your company have an employee handbook? Have your employees read it?

Sadly too many employees never read their employee handbook because so many are poorly written and frankly dull.

One of the best ways to produce an excellent employee handbook is to get people from across the company involved in it. Creating your handbook together can be an interesting exercise in how people see your company internally. A guide that is written from the top down, or written only by the HR department can have too narrow a focus.

Do not think of your employee handbook as a rule book, a list of do’s and don’ts. No one wants to read that. Think of it as a way to spread your company culture to make people want to do what is best for the company because that is what they believe in.

Consider what needs to go in it, and what you can leave out. People have limited attention spans, keeping it concise and focused makes it more likely people will read it. You can always use links to allow those who want more information to learn more.

Think about what you read when you skim the web, and think about what you skip straight over. Thick, dense text, full of long words and business-speak, does not get people’s attention. Short, snappy writing broken up by clear subheadings does.

Once you have drafted your employee handbook, have it checked by a legal firm that understands Ohio employment law. Too many companies have found their employee handbook used against them in court by an employee upset that conditions promised in the handbook — usually regarding wages, bonuses or vacations — have not been met.