Congratulations, you and many other business owners have never been sued by an employee, have never had the Department of Labor perform an audit or received a letter from the EEOC! However, at some point in the life of your business one or all of the above will more than likely occur and that is not the time to start thinking about policies and procedures!
An Employee Handbook serves many purposes for both the company and the employee. I’ve outlines a few here:
BENEFIT TO THE COMPANY:
- Structure – It contains all of the policies necessary to deal with employee issues which allows management to sleep at night knowing they are dealing with employees in a legally compliant way.
- Consistency – Management doesn’t have to try to remember how they dealt with a particular situation two years ago because they will have followed the processes and procedures set out in the handbook.
BENEFIT TO THE EMPLOYEE:
- Structure – Employees need a bit of structure in their day-to-day work. Structure helps them to focus on what they were hired to do and not on their own personal issues. Most employee questions will be answered by a policy in the handbook. A handbook shows the employee that the company is serious and that management has put some thought into the kind of work environment they want to create.
- Consistency – Employees want to be treated fairly. The handbook will give them an idea of what the company expects from them in addition to what the employee can expect from the company.
Put simply – the Employee Handbook is just a communication tool between the company and their employees and we’ve all heard the old saying…“communication is everything”
Creating an employee handbook is fairly painless and not very time consuming. I have worked out a three step process to make it very easy:
Starting with a blank piece of paper is too hard, so I have developed a questionnaire that will get business owners thinking about the important issues. It is fairly comprehensive, but doesn’t take much time to fill in. Most companies have been running with policies and procedures even if they aren’t written down.
This is where we work together to really dig into the policies. Some are easy since they must follow State or Federal employment law so there is not much to discuss. However with many policies, how it is written depends on the each individual company. I provide guidance and options so the process is usually quick and simple.
This is when the new employee handbook gets rolled out to all employees of the company. I can participate in the process with the business owners or provide guidelines to help it go smoothly. Again, each individual company is different.
If you are still unsure if you need an Employee Handbook ask yourself the questions below. If you answer is yes to any of them, I suggest you invest your time and money into creating this important worthwhile document.
YOU NEED A NEW EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK IF:
- Do I have more than 2 employees and no current handbook?
- Did I purchase a handbook online?
- Did I last update the handbook 2 or more years ago?
Feel free to call or email me if you have any questions or would like to get started on your own Employee Handbook!