Communication with your employees is essential. While it may seem that some of your long-term employees know what you need before you ask, all of your employees value clear communication.

One of the most important ways you communicate with your employees is through your employee handbook. If the manual is missing information, however, your staff could end up frustrated and confused about your expectations.

These are some of the subjects that employee handbooks commonly miss.

Performance expectations

You know what you want your employees to do when they show up to work, but they may not understand it the same way you do. If you expect your employees to achieve specific metrics, those need to be clear in the handbook, their job description or both.

If you have not looked at the numbers behind how your employees work, start by observing them. Watch people on the whole spectrum of how much work they complete and why they complete it faster or slower than their peers.

Once you have an estimation for your expectations, talk to your employees about your expectations. They might be able to give you more insight behind the action you observed. After you have developed your expectations, talk to your employees about the goals and what happens if they fall behind.

Break time

Depending on the hours your employees work, you might be required to offer them breaks during their shifts.

Your employee handbook should include which breaks are paid and which are unpaid. You should also let them know if you schedule their breaks or if they have the option of taking breaks when they want them.

When you give your employees clear communication about your expectations, you are more likely to have fewer discipline problems. The first step is making sure your employee handbook is a complete resource for when they have questions.