If you can’t count your employees on one hand, it’s time for your company to create an employee handbook. Before you write it off and think you don’t need one, understand there are many benefits to having a handbook. For example, it’s the perfect way to streamline communication to all employees. It’s also a good way to let employees know what your company expects of them. Plus, employee handbooks are a great place for policies, benefits, performance expectations, and more.
Having a well-written employee handbook can help you avoid problems in the future. Did you know that once a business reaches 15 full or part-time employees, it becomes subject to equal-opportunity provisions of the federal civil rights laws? Having an employee handbook with nondiscrimination policies can help you defend your company if you find yourself sued for civil rights violations. When writing an employee handbook, start with an introduction. The beginning of your handbook should include a message from the President/CEO, company history, mission, values, and business goals.
Once you have the introduction, it’s time for general employment information. This section should include policies like we mentioned above. Other policy examples include: Equal Employment Opportunity, Accommodation for People with Disabilities, Personnel File, Harassment and Discrimination Reporting, and Fraternization. Don’t forget to include employment eligibility, employment of relatives, and any other relevant employment information. An attendance policy is also a good addition to employee handbooks. Define exempt and non-exempt employees and include the normal working hours for full and part-time employees.
Make sure to state the rules for part-time employees and how overtime compensation works, including break and lunch periods. This section would be a good place for severe weather and emergency closing protocol.
Most employee handbooks have a section on workplace professionalism, and we think it’s important to include. Lay out the rules for work dress code, drugs and alcohol-free workplace information, workplace violence, safety and security, parking, workplace visitors, and accepting and giving gifts.
These are core topics of employee handbooks, but you may want to consider policies for other situations that arise in the workplace. These situations could be regarding monitoring in the workplace, computer and Internet policy, social media policies, performance development planning, progressive discipline, employment termination, and exit interviews. There is a lot of thought, information, and planning that goes into creating an employee handbook. Creating an employee handbook now will help your company in the future. Contact one of our recruiters today for more information.