Do I really need an employee handbook?
Yes, you really do need an employee handbook. If you don’t have clear guidelines for your employees, there will be misunderstandings and disputes. Without an employee handbook it is also hard to prove that employees know the company policies if there is a termination for violating policy. In addition to dealing with bad hires or employees, a well-written employee handbook can reduce the chance of litigation.
Starting each new hire with an employee handbook from day one begins your employer-employee relationship off on the right foot. Most employees will want to know what is expected from them and how to follow the company rules. It will also help them see your company as a more professional entity that has taken the time to define their policies, follow the law and comply with employment regulations.
Okay, so whether you need to make your first employee handbook or you need to update an existing one, where should you start? You can start with an online template or you can make an outline of all the items you need to include to help you get organized.
At a minimum, your employee handbook should include information about:
- Mission statement and company culture information
- Clarifying employment-at-will
- Information about probationary period
- Confidentiality and/or non-disclosure
- Paid time off, sick time, jury duty, holidays, and leave option
- Discipline policy
- Legal definition of salaried (exempt) and hourly (non-exempt)
- Equipment, software, and all technology policy
- Compensation and benefits, health care, pensions, etc
- Remote work
- Dress code
- Expense reimbursement
- Break times and meal breaks
- Drug and weapons policy
Make sure your employee handbook follows the law
Depending on the size of your business and which state you are in, employment laws differ. There are also federal labor laws to consider as well for FMLA, pregnancy discrimination, maternity leave and health insurance. Hint: when writing your handbook, keep the language as simple as possible. It helps to use examples that people can relate to. If your HR person is writing the employee handbook, remind them to keep the language user-friendly because not everyone is familiar with the information or terminology.
Once you have written or updated your employee handbook, it’s a good idea to have your legal counsel check it out just to make sure. When you are ready to launch your new employee handbook, expect a few challenges! Resistance to change is pretty universal, so plan to present it with something positive. An employee event with lunch and opportunities for questions could help make it a more pleasant experience. Make sure each employee receives a copy and signs for it for your records. And, managers must understand that the policies apply to them too. Getting employees to follow the rules when they see management disregarding them, is not going to work!
When it comes to employee handbooks, the job is never really done. Laws will change, your company may grow so don’t assume your handbook should stay the same. It’s a good idea to review it annually and if changes are made, make sure to distribute and confirm receipt.
In addition to protecting your business with an employee handbook, use a professional CRA
Partnering with a professional CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) that has the services you need to fill in your HR gaps can be an economical solution. The right CRA partner can provide you with convenient drug testing locations, help you recruit, integrate your system, perform background screening, provide education and license verification and support throughout the hiring process.
Feel confident that you are bringing the best hire into your company by having done due diligence both legally and ethically for your employees and customers. A professional CRA partner pays for itself by avoiding costly hiring mistakes. For a free consultation or more information, contact Genesis Background Screening Services at 866 944-0041 ext 101. Online, email or visit www.genesisbackgroundscreening.com. You can sign up to be emailed whenever we post a new blog at Feel confident that you are bringing the best hire into your company by having done due diligence both legally and ethically for your employees and customers. A professional CRA partner pays for itself by avoiding costly hiring mistakes. For a free consultation or more information, contact Genesis Background Screening Services at 866 944-0041 ext 101. Online, email or visit www.genesisbackgroundscreening.com. You can sign up to be emailed whenever we post a new blog at https://genesisbackgroundscreening.com/blog/
Genesis Background Screening is not a law firm and provides our blogs for informational purposes only. Blog is not a substitute for experienced legal advice. Research laws or regulations mentioned in our blogs and ask your legal counsel any questions you have to be sure your organization is within the law and compliant with regulations.
Genesis Background Screening Services