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The Big Mistake Little Companies Make
Legal and financial. Those are the two primary reasons every company should have an employee handbook. For small businesses, drafting a handbook might seem like an inefficient use of valuable temporal resources, however, in the long run, it pays off exponentially in time, money, and peace of mind.
7 ways employee handbooks benefit employers of all sizes
- Legal protection. At one point or another, even the most ethical businesses run into legal disputes involving employees. Handbooks demonstrate legally that a company took “reasonable care” of their employees by providing them with a document explaining company policies and procedures. Furthermore, courts sometimes consider a signed employee handbook as a binding contract recognizing the employee’s understanding of company policies and procedures.
- Definition of expectations and culture. Dress codes, lunch times, vacation scheduling – explaining company policy to new hires helps establish the overall tone of a company’s personality. Handbooks can also prevent new employees from distracting their colleagues while acquainting themselves to their new job – the answers to many of their questions should be provided in a proficient handbook.
- Set your mission. Of course, new employees are going to understand the goal of your company; however, re-stating it reinforces a sense of pride in the collective effort. It can also strip away any ambiguity, ensuring new hires have a precise statement of the company’s mission.
- Help instructions. If an employee is having troubles with another employee, or has workplace related questions, they need to know who to turn to. Handbooks should inform employees on how to file a complaint and identify which managers to seek assistance from. Keeping disputes in-house can save the costs associated with outside parties such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- Management assistance. An employee handbook should establish managerial practices and guidelines for both new hires and management. Educating the entire staff on the style of management they should expect to experience further instills the company’s work tone. The handbook also provides managers with a reference tool for handling policy disputes.
- Company history. Employees should know about the company they represent. Understanding what it took for a business to get off the ground, and the achievements made along the way, develops a culture of pride, while granting employees interesting conversation fodder when asked about their employment.
- Definition of benefits. 401 (k)s, health insurance, profit sharing – if a company offers it to their employees, it’ll be carefully explained in the employee handbook. A clear outline of all a company has to offer its employees promotes employee retention, and provides quick answers to staff member questions about the the perks of the job.
Do it right
Even if a business is able to squeeze in the time to compose an employee handbook, it can be a daunting task to do properly, and legally. Handbooks need to be up-to-date with state and federal policy and presented in a form that’s easy for employees to digest.
AHA! Impressions is well versed in the details and methods of creating effective employee handbooks for companies of all sizes. Whether you’re a startup in need of your first handbook, or just keeping your current one up-to-date, AHA! will make sure you have all your bases covered. Contact us today to get started!