On the first day that you learned how to drive, did you only jump to the car and go or did you first learn about the road rules?
On that first time that you baked a cake, is there a recipe that you follow or did you just throw those random ingredients to the bowl and expect that the best will come out of the oven?
When you own a small business, the same thing applies to your employees. If they go to work with a staff handbook or manual, this will help them better understand expectations and become a better employee.
Three Reasons to Create and Develop an Employee Handbook
- The handbook offers a wealth of information regarding the company procedures and policies that is great for both employees and managers.
- This provides direction and clarity for the supervisors and managers on the right way of handling specific employment issues.
- This sets expectations for the employees and helps them in avoiding unacceptable behavior and misunderstandings.
When you have finally decided to create your own staff handbook or you want to update your employee manual, here are several suggestions that you might want to keep in mind:
- For those who are just starting from scratch, you can pull together all the information, letters, notices and memos that you have previously given to your workers. You can sort out this information to different categories and decide whether this is still relevant and if you would like to include it.
- So that it will be easier for you to update the handbook, you can list one policy for every page then include the effective date and the revision date.
- See to it that you include a language that will protect your company. The courts have regarded the handbooks as contracts. You might want to include a statement for this and make sure that your employees will have an acknowledge receipt that can help in protecting your company against misunderstandings and lawsuits.
- In case you have some standard forms, you can also include a copy of every form with relevant policy. If there are no standard forms, it might be the perfect time for you to consider creating one.
After you have completed the staff handbook, don’t just stop there and let it on the shelf to gather dust. It is important that you make it as a crucial aspect of the orientation of new employees.
Review its contents with all the employees at least once every year and ensure that the supervisors and managers thoroughly understand all the procedures and policies. What is worse than not having your own employment handbook? It is when you have one but don’t follow the procedures and policies stated therein.
Whether you were the one who prepared the employee handbook yourself, purchased a canned version or hired someone to do it, it is best that it is reviewed carefully before distributing this to the employees.