As the owner of a company, it is in your best interests to create an employee handbook which applies across the board. It should have a categorical account on all your policies and procedures. A well-written handbook helps avert several potential conflicts with your employees by letting them know for sure what you expect of them and how they should conduct themselves in the company.
Here are a few suggestions on how to prepare an effective employee handbook.
Make a comprehensive and consistent account of your policies and procedures: You should not leave out any aspect of an employee’s relationship with the company. Make a comprehensive account of all aspects such as:
- General working hours
- Probationary duration and policy
- Company rules and regulations
- Holidays and leave policies
- Salary and performance reviews
- Overtime/comp off policy
- Health and medical benefits
- Transfer & relocation procedures
- Pension plan and other fringe benefits
- Termination policies
- Standards of conduct with colleagues
- Anti-discrimination policies
- Employee safety and security and
- Maternity policy
Avoid issues that are not relevant to an individual employer. Whatever you include in the handbook should be applicable across the board in the company. Avoid coverage of items that change very frequently because they become outdated in no time.
Be precise in presentation: Present your policies in clear and concise language. This will avoid confusion and, most importantly, charges of discrimination.
Keep it simple: Be sensible in selecting a presentation style. Do not use flashy colors and fonts. Make it as appealing as possible but avoid a fancy look that might end up tone down the importance of the handbook. Remember, the information you provide inside the book is more important than the appearance.
Compose the handbook yourself but get it reviewed by a legal expert: If you ask your legal expert to prepare the handbook, they may write it as a legal document with plenty of legal terminology. This will certainly confuse your employees and at the same time, increase your costs. So the best thing is to write it yourself and get it reviewed by your legal team to ensure that it corresponds to the statutory laws of your respective state or country.
Leave the scope for review: It is important to periodically revise your handbook by eliciting feedback from your employees, stakeholders and legal experts to make it current. As your business grow, your needs will change. Besides, the statutory laws that pertain to your company may also change time to time. So you need to update your handbook to avert unnecessary lawsuits.
Thus, a well-crafted employee handbook can save you from potential legal issues. So pay attention while creating it.
Do share your thoughts on the same.