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Keep reading: the tips in this article will help you plan and write an employee handbook that gives your business a professional edge and saves you time (and potential legal trouble) in the long term. How to Create the Best Employee Handbook for Your Business Creating an employee handbook for the first time can be a daunting and tedious task. Read more, Putting company rules in writing helps set expectations and reduces misunderstandings. In this guide, we’ll discuss how small to mid-sized businesses can create practical employee handbooks. Focus on the positives. When should a company create an employee handbook? Often having an employee handbook isn’t something most businesses think about until there’s a pressing need. An employee handbook allows you to share your company culture. For example, you may note that employees receive yearly reviews and that positive reviews usually lead to a salary increase or a bonus. As a marketing agency, this makes us cringe. An outdated employee handbook can spell trouble! Hiring policies 2. How to create an effective employee handbook. Basically I have this project where I have to create an employee's handbook for my. This article was co-authored by Michael R. Lewis. Make sure you use an accessible tone and clear language in the handbook so it is easy for your employees to follow. An outdated employee handbook can spell trouble! You can do this by imagining the handbook is a conversation you are having with an employee as an employer. Include descriptions of exempt and non-exempt employees. 6 tips to writing a great employee handbook. An employee handbook is a document that outlines the company policies, procedures, and working conditions, and introduces the new employee to the company culture and values. Many companies create employee handbooks to outline policies, organizational structure and other corporate information. Below is a look at eight common sections in employee handbooks. An employee handbook is an internal document in which you state your company’s mission, vision, culture, and legal aspects of employment. It will start with the contact details of the company. Moreover, a comprehensive employee handbook helps protect your business legally if anyone ever questions whether you've clearly communicated your policies. A critical component of your employee handbook is the general information about being employed with your company. These can include equal employment opportunity, anti-harassment, and anti-discrimination laws. A well-written handbook will set the tone for new employees as they join your company, and help veteran employees navigate changes to company policies and procedures as your business grows over time. The Introduction to your Employee Handbook is more than just a few words about your company. Make sure you use an accessible tone and clear language in the handbook so it is easy for your employees to follow. A good employee handbook defines your unique workplace rules and practices, and should be written in a voice that reflects your vision and the culture you've built — or want to build. Make sure you discuss your company's vacation leave policy, including how vacation time is earned and how to request time off. We are not going to sugar-coat it, writing an Employee Handbook is not an easy task especially if you do not have a Human Resource team to create it for you. Incorporate these essential employee policies for any small business. Katie Evans-Reber and Steffi Wu of Gusto (YC W12) talk about the importance of creating an employee handbook and how to go about doing it. Visit our Contact Us Page, Payment schedule (and payment methods available), Rules around accepting gifts from clients, Any retirement plans you offer and who's eligible, Insurance coverage you offer, including life insurance and short- and/or long-term disability, Training benefits, including tuition reimbursement, Any “soft" benefits you may provide, whether that's flexible scheduling, on-site yoga classes, or free lunches on Friday. What to Include in an Employee Handbook. Your employee handbook allows you to navigate not only your business’ policies, but also your brand and your company’s vision.. Here are a couple of the most common policy problems we see in HR Policy Manuals: At Will Employment. Your description should include the definition of overtime. Use a Knowledge Sharing Tool to Create an Employee Handbook. It’s a great tool to welcome new employees to your company and let them know the expectations and policies of your workplace. A step-by-step guide. You should also explain the criteria for enrolling in benefits and when you can change benefits, such as in the event of marriage or the birth of a child. Your employee handbook is likely one of the longest documents you’ll create and whilst it’s important to include a lot of information, it’s also important to make sure you don’t waffle on. Employee Manuals are long and include a large volume of information about your company culture, performance expectations, dress codes, mobile phone policies, legal statements and much more. Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. This will include topics employees care about, such as: 1. Author: Douglas Zucker, Bauch Zucker Hatfield LLC It is important for employers to document policies and procedures in writing to ensure consistency in employee management as well as to make sure that all employees and supervisors are familiar with their rights and obligations with respect to the employer. For example, a restaurant owner must manage a large number of workers and deal with employee turnover, so the employee handbook must focus on hiring and termination policies. It lets your employees understand the importance of the handbook and includes an area for employees to sign to acknowledge they have read the handbook. He has over 40 years of experience in business and finance, including as a Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. 7 purposes of an employee handbook. You do not want to overwhelm your employees with information or with strict rules that are hard to follow. For example, if you run a business such as retail store where showing up to work on time is of utmost importance, you'll, of course, need to specify your attendance rules and perhaps your dress code. It is also referred to as a staff handbook or a staff manual. Try these expert-level hacks. All in all, the employee handbook allows the employer to establish a relationship of transparency and trust with an employee. It helps boost employee morale, reinforce productive behavior, and maintain business standards. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. References. This has the added benefit of allowing employees to consult the handbook for guidance any time they have questions. As a bonus, they have an employee handbook with annotations already created for you so it can be pretty painless to make necessary updates. Payment schedule (and payment methods available) 3. Take advantage of opportunities to check out at least a few other handbooks as you're planning out your policies and procedures. You should outline the amount of time allowed for the death of a family member and for sick leave. Whether you’re attempting to address an office culture issue or interested in building one as a foundational element, crafting an employee handbook requires preparation and thoughtfulness. One emerging best practice is creating an employee handbook addendum specifically built around modifications to work and workplace culture created by COVID-19. Some handbooks contain a statement that indicates an “at Will” relationship can be changed is if CEO or President of the company signs a statement indicating that … An employee handbook defines your company’s culture, procedures and key policies. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Whenever your employees have a question about a work-related policy, they should be able to turn to their employee handbook to dig up an answer. Safety and security procedures 9. Employment is "at-will," and that either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment at any time, with or without notice or reason. An employee handbook is given to new employees from the employer. However, essentials for an employee handbook include statements that: The employee handbook does not constitute an employment contract. As you start thinking about and planning out your employee handbook, you might realize that you haven't formalized many of your policies or that you still need to consider more thoughtfully what some of your policies should be. Such policies may include: As should not be a surprise to you, the employee benefits section is one of the most frequently referenced sections of your employee handbook. The purpose of the handbook is to ensure that employees have a complete, clear understanding of the company policies affecting their work, pay, and benefits. Passing out employee handbooks can not only make a new hire feel more equipped to handle his or her day-to-day work, but it can increase that new hire’s efficiency right off the bat. For example, if your company has an office setting, you may have a business casual dress code. You can also find sample employee handbooks through a basic Google search. Done right, employee handbooks can boost productivity and employee engagement, assist in conflict resolution, and even protect businesses during legal battles.. An employee handbook is the operating playbook and communication tool you and your team need to codify the rules of the road for working at your small business. The Human Resources department (or any individual or department that handles employee hiring, intake, and advisement) at the company should fill out this form. Employee handbooks can take a while to create, so some employers purchase an employee handbook template and fill in the blanks as needed. He has a BBA in Industrial Management from the University of Texas at Austin. A good handbook should reflect your company culture. Avoid using passive voice or addressing abstract entities (e.g. An employee handbook can be a manager’s best friend. Done right, employee handbooks can boost productivity and employee engagement, assist in conflict resolution, and even protect businesses during legal battles.. 1. A Sample Employee Handbook with Examples of Each Step. A greeting from a higher-up in the business (e.g., the owner) is recommended. While you shouldn't copy other companies' policies and employee handbooks word-for-word, it's well worth your time to look through some of them for inspiration or ideas. You can't simply photocopy another company's handbook and distribute it to your employees. Meal and rest breaks 6. You should also discuss the company's policies on the safety and security of all employees. This empowered the staff and gave them a voice while also ensuring that the new handbook was read by all staff members. Start with a sample outline from your friends at DPM, and you’re practically done. 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