The employee handbook is the ultimate guide and protections for your employees and your business, so it is very important to keep your information fresh and relevant. An employee handbook sets clear expectations and rights for employees while also stating your legal obligations. The more information you can provide the better, because this handbook can educate your employees and help protect your company against employee claims and disputes. This can include discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination. In a nutshell, the handbook is an essential foundation to your business for new hires that provides insight for them to understand your mission and values. Even if it may seem time consuming, it is necessary to create transparency and consistency in your organization.
There are multiple reasons that there should be a clear and concise handbook within your enterprise. The top priority is to introduce your employees to your culture, missions, and values. This will aid in fostering a sense of belonging and pride, increasing productivity in the long run. This also immediately answers potential questions an employee has and lets them know what sets your organization apart. A well-written handbook conveys to employees what is expected of them, giving them a clear understanding of their responsibilities. This will serve as a compass for the company’s policies and procedures, and it advises employees how to respond in work-related situations like accountability, safety, timekeeping and reporting. The more detailed the responsibilities are, the more likely your company moves smoothly in the right direction.
A good handbook will educate your employees about what they should expect from management. With the goal of fostering healthy management-employee relationships, it should be made clear the objectives and leadership styles and management best practices. It should outline logistics like hours of work and pay periods and timekeeping requirements. Clearly communicated policies will advise employees on their various entitlements to federal and state leaves, eliminating uncertainty and inconsistencies that result when not addressed beforehand. If you want your key company policies to be effective, your handbook will precisely convey employment, performance and behavior, compensation and other standard policies you follow. Managers that refer to the handbook when answering questions or making resolutions will ensure their responses and steps are uniform with your procedures and practices.
It is important not to just label the strict rules in your handbook, but also the benefits you offer. If your business plan offers vacations, 401(k), health insurance, paid parental leave or anything similar, it is suggested to promote those employee advantages to attract a more willing and productive spirit among all (it can also help you keep your best employees).
If you want to ensure the best outcome in situations dealing with state and federal laws, it is important you input all potential entitlements and responsibility to employees showing your organizations strive to comply with them. Communicating clear parameters and rights of the employees like military leave, state disability leaves and other government mandates will help defend against potential employee claims, challenges or lawsuits. In most cases it is when, not if, any of these issues may occur; it is best to stay protected. From dress code to whom to contact, it is important to cover all aspects of your missions, visions and values in your employee handbook to create a wholesome and protected work environment.
Are you ready to update your handbook for your business? Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO) that can help. We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast which provides compliance screening as well as background checks. Visit www.Coastal-HR.com or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.