5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs an Employee Handbook

5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs an Employee Handbook
 Courtesy Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Courtesy Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Did you know that an employee handbook can help you improve your onboarding experience, enhance employee engagement, and establish clear expectations?


Here are the top 5 reasons why your small business needs an employee handbook.  
1. Onboarding and Employee Engagement  

A thorough employee handbook can help you develop a productive workplace that promotes employee engagement and retention. By implementing policies that support work-life balance, professional growth, and employee appreciation you are showing your staff that you value their efforts and are concerned about their wellbeing. Setting employees up for success can improve job satisfaction and lower employee turnover rates. 


2. Clear Employee Expectations 

Fair and equitable treatment of all employees is important! Your expectations and policies regarding employees and supervisors/management should be made clear in your handbook, preventing any ambiguity or misconceptions. Setting clear expectations can also enhance the lines of communication between employees and supervisors, fostering more fruitful and gratifying working relationships.

3. Job Satisfaction

For both new and long-term employees, your employee handbook can be a helpful training tool. Making sure that every employee has access to the information they need to inform their employment journey can present opportunities for growth and career advancement, resulting in employees that are more motivated and fulfilled. 

4. Legal Compliance 

You can save hassle in the long run by having an employee handbook that complies with provincial and/or federal standards. Anti-discrimination policies, harassment prevention, and employee rights and perks should all be covered in your handbook. To protect your company and your time, it is crucial that your policies reflect the most recent laws and regulations. It is recommended that the final draft be reviewed by a certified professional, i.e., employment lawyer.  

5. Employer Branding 

A communicative workplace can help attract and retain top talent. Separate your business from the competition by highlighting your organization’s values, mission, and distinctive culture. This helps in assembling a team of motivated people that are committed to and enthusiastic about their work. 


The employee handbook is an essential tool for successfully integrating new employees into your team and building a strong foundation for your small business. That being said, it can become a real headache if you don’t have access to the services of a human resources expert to help. The good news is that, as a CFIB member, you have access to a comprehensive, easy-to-use Employee Handbook Template that serves as an excellent starting point for creating a manual tailored to the unique needs of your business. 

How to use CFIB’s Employee Handbook Template

You need to adapt this template to meet the specific requirements of your business, before giving it to your employees.  

Words highlighted in grey must be replaced by information specific to your business and/or province.

Words in blue are tips and/or hints to help guide you; these must be deletedprior to printing or distributing your handbook. 

Add any missing or additional elements that might be relevant and specific toyour business. 

The content of this template is broadly inspired by the Labour Standards Act. It is important to update your completed manual periodically to coincide with updates in legislation, regulations, and internal policy changes as they occur. 


Due to differing legislation, there is a separate CFIB handbook template for businesses in Quebec, which can be found here. 

Membership with the CFIB is an included benefit when you join the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC). For more information, visit https://ficdn.ca/memberships.


The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.

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