Do you have an employee handbook? They may be the single most important thing you can do for your business. Time and time again having the right documentation on file can help your company avoid an employee relations nightmare. Employees will always have questions or concerns about policies and there may be times when rules need to be interpreted.
8 Tips for Creating Your Own Employee Handbook
Seek Legal Advice
To provide that everything in your handbook both appropriate and legally correct you should work with a lawyer that specializes in human resources and employment law. When a policy is easy to misinterpret it will be difficult to solve the problem so protect yourself with the right legal language.
Follow State and Federal Laws
Your consulting lawyer should also be able to help you understand the local and federal laws that are applicable to your business. Your policies need to comply in every way. There may be a lot of subtle details that can become confusing if you don’t have the right knowledge to understand them.
Be Short and Sweet
Books that are too big or too hard to thumb through will never be read. Create a table of contents and an index so important information is always at your employees’ fingertips.
Detail Reporting Procedures
The most important thing to include is the exact procedure for reporting a problem to management.
Use a Template
You don’t have to start from scratch. Review handbooks from other companies who are in similar industries or about the same size.
A handbook should never be considered a final document. As laws and policies change you should also edit the handbook appropriately.
Include a Disclaimer
You will never be able to cover every possible scenario so cover your bases with a disclaimer. Let them know that it is not comprehensive and that it should be used a general guide. Not including the disclaimer can cause the handbook to be seen as a contract which will cause legal issues if anything is ever disputed.
Once you have a completed handbook everyone in your office should have a copy or access to a master copy. New employees should sign a form that indicates they have been made aware of the handbook and will follow the policies of your company.
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