These days, there's no excuse for not having an employee policy handbook.
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Even if your company only has a handful of employees, you can't afford to leave policy compliance to chance. Well-written employee policies and manuals are a vital resource in the battle to maintain a professional and legal work environment.
Even though your time is precious, you can't offload the creation of an employee policy manual to an assistant. If you have already written several policy statements, your handbook is off to a great start. But there are other issues that need to be addressed, each one requiring the direct input of the business owner and leadership team.
The best employee policies and manuals are accompanied by a widespread distribution and implementation strategy. The more opportunities employees have to access policies and manuals, the more likely they are to comply with policy content. Here are a few other pieces of advice about how to create a policy-rich employee handbook.
There are lot of different ways to format employee manuals. Your HR department or staff person should have at least one hard copy of the manual on record for easy employee access. But it's a good idea to also have an electronic version of the handbook in PDF format so it can be emailed to new hires, attorneys and others who have need to view current company policies.
The content of employee policies and manuals runs the gamut – there are no set rules about what has to be included in your employee handbook. But in practice, you'll want your handbook to contain anything and everything that impacts your workplace. Some of the most common section headings for employee manuals include the employer relationship, employment policies, workplace standards, payroll & benefits, performance evaluations, proper equipment usage and disciplinary procedures. The information contained in your handbook may be legally binding, so submit it to attorney review before distribution.
Employee policies and manuals should be accompanied by an Employment Agreement. This agreement confirms that new hires have received the employee handbook and are responsible for complying with the policies described between its covers. By signing and dating this document, employees agree to work within policy parameters or face the possibility of termination.