An employee handbook protects both the employer and the employee. The handbook serves as a guide for both parties concerning behavior, rules, and policies. A handbook also provides safety policies that employees and the employer are expected to follow. If effectively enforced, an employee handbook eliminates ambiguity, improves safety, and assigns appropriate accountability.
The Small Business Administration provides details on developing an Employee Handbook. Three ways that a handbook can improve HR administration and mitigate potential HR crises are the following.
- An employee handbook can guard against accusations of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) violations. The handbook reassures the employer that any action adheres to EEOC guidelines and federal and state law. Have a legal professional check the document to ensure that it is legally valid. This can minimize any risk of litigation.
- An employee handbook can encourage appropriate behavior and improve interpersonal relationships. Transparent, fair, and consistent policies are respected. Expectations concerning behavior should be clearly laid out in addition to disciplinary procedures. If staff does not behave appropriately, the employer should follow the disciplinary procedures in the manual consistently in every case.
- The staff handbook can showcase benefits and promote an employee-oriented organization. Items to include are annual and sick leave, health benefits, policies for flexible work options or remote work, disability benefits, tax information, child care benefits, insurance benefits, media relations, ethics policies, procedures for complaints and accident reporting, and dress code.
The handbook should include any staff development and training programs. Staff training is particularly important for industrial or high-risk workplaces where accidents are likely to occur if Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines are not followed. An employee handbook will ensure that safety standards are up to date and all staff receives the necessary training.
The employee handbook should be updated at regular intervals as business processes evolve. The handbook should be provided to all staff and be easily accessible. Consider translating the handbook into other languages for non-English speaking employees. The National Federation of Independent Business offers a sample employee handbook.
Contact Staffing Service USA for advice in preparing an employee handbook. Partner with us for your short and long-term staffing needs.