Let’s be honest, no one wants to talk about employee handbooks except us! We love them! Everyone knows they need one, but it usually gets put on the back burner. Well, folks, you need to put it on the front burner!
What is it? Your employee manual or employee handbook is the guide provided to employees to set the expectations and standards for both the company and its employees. It is not scary, it is meant to be LIBERATING!
What does it include? It should include information about the company’s mission, vision, and values, the expectations, the culture, the policies, and procedures. It should also contain any relevant information pertaining to your industry.
Why is it important? Without an employee manual how do your employees know what you expect from them? Yes, you may have explained it to them on your first day, but what if they can’t remember how many PTO days they have or how to get reimbursed for expenses? All this (AND MORE) should be laid out in your employee manual. Having an employee handbook takes away the guess work and allows everyone in the company to be accountable for their conduct, safety, ethics, and culture. It needs to be as detailed as possible for your company’s needs.
When do you need it? We recommend that you need a handbook even if you only have one employee. We agree with the Scouts motto, “Always be prepared”.
Who writes it? This is one item we DO NOT recommend doing on your own. It is a customized document and should be done by a professional. There are too many variables that go into your employee handbook. Ideally you should review it every two to three at a minimum to ensure its relevancy.
Where do you store it? It should be in a location that is easily accessible and provided to each employee on the first day of work if not before. The employee should keep the copy provided to them, but let’s be honest, things get lost. The employer should have it stored in a location that can be accessed by all employed. Typically, it is in your company’s shared digital storage.
Don’t let it overwhelm you. It’s something that can easily be outsourced. You will be so happy it’s done!