The more people that you employ, the more crucial a well-written employee handbook becomes. When you are running a small operation, you can afford to be more flexible with the rules and tell people what they need to know face-to-face. Yet, once you start to grow, that becomes harder.
An employee handbook can set the tone for your company culture and become a legal tool of defense when you’re faced with employee problems.
Make sure that employees read and acknowledge the handbook
When you create an employee manual, you need to ensure people read it. Otherwise, your work will have been in vain.
Including a tear-out page for them to sign to say they have read is essential, but people may still sign without reading. If you keep the document brief and make it interesting, people are more likely to take away the information you want them to. If it is a hundred-page document written in business-speak or legalese, you reduce the chances.
Make sure that you understand the obligations your handbook creates for you
Be careful what promises you make in the handbook, especially concerning pay, hours and entitlement to leave. If you fail to live up to those promises, a worker may use the document to show you did not meet the conditions of employment offered.
Use your handbook to set expectations of what you expect from your employees, as well as telling them what they can expect from you. Seek help to ensure you comply with all relevant labor laws. One area you must include is your policies on harassment and discrimination. You need to make it clear you will not accept it and clarify the appropriate channels for workers to report incidents.
Setting the right tone and including the necessary information in your employee handbook will take time. Yet, it will be time well spent if it spares you legal issues later.