One of the most important steps you can take as an employer will be the energy you put into the creation of an employee handbook. Regulating employee’s standard codes of ethics through an employee handbook should be on the top of your human resource departments “to-do” list.
Employee handbooks are the backbone to how a company expresses the way employees are to present themselves in their job performance and the way they are expected to treat others. Other names such as, “employee manual”, “policy and procedure handbook” and “staff rules and regulations, etc, are often used but they all serve the same purpose.
In today’s workplace, laws are forever changing to protect employees from being mistreated and abused. A well-written employee handbook also serves as a protector for the employer during the on boarding process of new hires.
No matter what you name it, it is imperative that your company incorporate a well-crafted employee handbook that will serve as a:
Establishing rules and regulations is necessary but not if the employee is unaware that they exist or fail to have a complete understanding of what they mean. Verbal acknowledgment of standards and policies is great but having documented proof of their existence makes it simpler to enforce when needed.
What are the best paths to take in getting the point across to your employees what you expect of them and their conduct in the workplace? Here are a few examples that you should consider:
A company employee handbook serves several purposes and can represent a business in various forms. When you are creating the layout for your employee manual, be sure to keep the information short and to the point without a lot of added jargon.
The following are the most relevant sections you should consider installing into your employees, beginning with:
In this section you would also discuss performance evaluations, who conducts the assessment and the time frame evaluations will take place. (i.e. six months, one year, etc,)
Be sure to outline whether there are probation periods enforced and what benefits the employee is entitled. If insurance is an offered benefit, be sure to describe the details of the employer’s responsibility as well as the employees.
You will also want to include descriptions for all insurances(if applicable) such as dental, health, life, disability.
The more you have documented the better guidelines you will have if and when there comes a time where an employee is at risk of losing his/her job. Due to many of the reasons listed above, you will want to ensure that your company cannot be held liable for improper dismissal due to discrimination or harassment.
It is important that you, the business owner adhere to a good employee handbook to avoid conflict and misunderstandings of what it is you expect from your employees and what they can expect in return. During the hiring process many companies choose to go over the handbook verbally and have a supervisor sign off with the new hire that they have read and understood the contents.
Having clear documentation approved by an employee will offer your company proof if legal repercussions were to arise for any reason. If new state laws come into play, remember always to update the changes to protect you and your employees.