Creating a comprehensive guide for your business might seem like a daunting task, but an employee handbook can help a company of any size protect its business and improve retention. A handbook is an indispensable time and money saver in the case of any performance issues down the line.
The employee handbook includes all company policies, and functions as a guide for your team as well as protection for your business in the case of a dispute. You can keep your handbook general, or use it as an opportunity to make a lasting first impression and shape each new hire with your company vision. Here are some basics to get you started.
Where to start
Employee handbooks typically open with standards regarding workplace conduct. Start compiling this portion by observing your workplace. Track common practices, challenges, even resolutions to previous issues, and create a plan around them. This section should include the following:
- Dress code
- Ethics guidelines
- General workplace behavior
- Time-off policy
- Confidentiality/non-compete clauses
This is also an opportunity to present your company mission, and tell new employees how to best represent your business as a part of the team. What information would help every new hire succeed, and ensure smooth processes within your organization? Answering that question is essential to a great employee handbook.
What you must include by law
This portion of your employee handbook is extremely important. All businesses must abide by federal and state regulations in their hiring practices, and it’s critical to show compliance in your handbook to prevent against any potential legal ramifications. This section should include the following:
- Anti-discrimination and harassment policies – The U.S. Department of Labor requires businesses to post information stating compliance with equal opportunity employment laws and anti-discrimination acts. This is also an opportunity to tell employees how to stay in compliance.
- Medical leave policies – Show your compliance with The Federal Family Medical Leave Act, as well as your state’s policies and those specific to your business.
- Worker’s Compensation – Most states require worker’s compensation policies be made available to employees in writing.
- Employment at will – At-will employment refers to the labor law stating employees can be terminated at any time by an employer without warning or just cause. If your business is in an state exempt from at-will employment, include some standard termination grounds and processes.
Make sure every new hire confirms with a written signature that they have read the handbook completely before their first day on the job.
It’s important to talk to an HR professional while drafting your handbook to ensure your company is in compliance with federal and state regulations. You want to make sure you’ve covered your bases, and are doing everything you can to protect your business. Having a dedicated team take up the burden of HR responsibilities like creating and maintaining an employee handbook can help you avoid mistakes that make your business vulnerable to legal retribution. Bambee helps give small business owners the HR tools to grow and protect their business, so they can get back to running it. Head over to www.bambee.com to see how we can help support your organization in all its human resource needs.