Blog & Company News

Nov 23, 2011

Essentials for an Employee Handbook

[caption id="attachment_393" align="alignright" width="425" caption="Essentials for an Employee Handbook"][/caption] If you’re going to expand your business and hire additional employees, consider creating an employee handbook. It’s a good way to establish the expectations and rules of your company in a clear and formal way. Fundamentally, your employee handbook should establish the legal responsibilities of the employer and the rights of the employee. The more time and energy you put into creating a thorough and thoughtful employee handbook for your staff members, the happier you are likely to be with their performance. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends a list of topics1 to include in an employee handbook. Here are some highlights:

Work Schedules

Your employee handbook should clearly establish employees’ working and lunch hours. Also, is telecommuting an option? How do you handle absences?

General Employment Policies

Whether you conduct background checks or drug screenings, detail your general policies from hiring and firing to promotions, transfers, and resignation procedures. This should also include general information about labor laws, union eligibility for your employees, and rules regarding hiring foreign workers.

Anti-Discrimination Policies

You’re legally obligated to comply with laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment.2

Safety and Security

This handy Workplace Safety and Health3 guide can help you establish sound safety and security policies for your business. In your handbook, outline such items as OSHA's rules regarding reporting any workplace accidents as well as your own policies regarding natural disasters, weather, and hazardous chemicals. To see the complete list of handbook criteria, click here. For more information, visit these U.S. Small Business Administration pages: 1. “Employee Handbooks” 2. “Employment Discrimination and Harassment” 3. “Workplace Safety and Health