By Evan Vitale
As your business continued to grow – and let’s hope it does – you’ll eventually come to a point where you’ll have to hire employees.
Now, while the hiring process is for a different blog post, we want to focus our attention here on the importance of having an employee manual for you and your team.
Let’s make this one point perfectly clear: an employee manual is a MUST for your company. It serves as a guide for everyone. It is a guide which spells out rules; regulations; holidays; vacations; benefits and other important policies. More importantly, it’s all written, printed and distributed in a nice package. That way, anyone with any questions can always refer to the employee manual for answers.
Note: If you already have an employee manual for your staff, now might be a good time to review and update it (if necessary).
Here are some great reasons why you need an employee manual:
The employer can clearly define the employee; employment status; full-time or part-time; discipline and termination policies. This helps reduce or eliminate any wrongful termination claims.
It should deal with sexual harassment; discrimination and bullying policies to help protect the employee.
Include policies on pay day; work hours; lunch and other breaks; vacation policy; sick leave; bereavement policy; pregnancy leave; holiday pay, etc. Again, this informs and protects both the employee and employer from any confusion.
Employers can also set forth here dress codes; codes of conduct; employee behavior; random drug testing; absentee and tardiness issues, etc.
The employee manual doesn’t need to be full of legal terminology and difficult to understand (although you should have your attorney review it for any missing factors or loopholes). Instead, the employee manual serves as a guide that should answer all the questions any employee might have about working with your company.
It also goes without saying that an employee guide should also protect you as an employee. New employees should be given a copy of the employee manual and they should read and understand the policies herein. Some companies require their employees to sign a document stating that they have received; read and understand the employee manual.