When it comes to running your own business, it’s up to you to determine when to implement certain procedures or policies. You may be familiar with other companies having employee handbooks, but you may not know exactly when you should create an employee handbook. The truth is that you should have an employee handbook if you have any employees or expect to hire any soon.
Building a comprehensive employee handbook can be a difficult process for a small business owner to do on their own. Fortunately, Einstein HR is here to help you craft the perfect handbook for your business. You can call (770) 962-1700 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives about how we can help you determine what you need in your employee handbook.
What Should Be in Your Employee Handbook
An employee handbook should be a resource every employee in the company, including management, should be able to turn to for guidance about policies, behavioral expectations, and any other obligations that they or the company have. While you can’t expect to cover every possible situation, you want your employee handbook to give your employees a clear idea of what is expected of them and how they will be treated in case of any violations of company policy.
Sexual Harassment Policies
One of the most important aspects of an employee handbook is letting employees what is and isn’t acceptable in your workplace. A clear policy on what constitutes sexual harassment can reduce the likelihood that the behavior will occur in your workplace. Listing examples of sexual harassment can be helpful. A typical list of unacceptable behavior that could be in your employee handbook might include:
- Touching or grabbing of a sexual nature
- Jokes relating to sexual behavior
- Sexual abuse, whether it is physical or verbal
- Gestures or gifts that are sexually suggestive
Your employee handbook should clearly outline the punishment for such behavior but should also let employees know how to report the behavior.
Policies for More Specific Situations
Your business is unique and will face certain situations more often than other companies. If there are common problems that employees might face, such as hazardous weather conditions or other geographical problems, an employee handbook should give clear guidelines on how employees are expected to handle those issues. Likewise, you may want to include guidelines for how employees react to an active shooter situation, as you want to make sure all your employees are safe.
Compliance with Federal and Local Regulations
Your employee handbook can contain the documents necessary for compliance with federal and local employment laws. For example, the EEOC has documentation that must be posted for employees to read. Including any relevant documentation in an employee handbook is a great way of letting employees know exactly how they are protected under the law.
You should also include information about your compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under Title VII, employers may not discriminate based on sex, religion, or race when it comes to any aspect of employment. Violations of Title VII can result in lawsuits that may cost your business a substantial amount of time and money.
Why You Should Have an Employee Handbook
As an employer, you should want your employees to know that there are clear rules for them to follow, as it will make the day-to-day operation of your business much smoother. However, there is another reason that makes it vitally important to have an employee handbook.
A failure to have a clear policy that employees can refer to may lead you to increased liability for a lawsuit. An employee fired for absenteeism or tardiness may point to a lack of a written policy on attendance in a wrongful termination lawsuit. Similarly, should any sexual harassment occur at your business, a written sexual harassment policy can help shield you from potential liability.
Einstein HR Can Help Build the Right Employee Handbook with You
Making sure that you cover every important topic may feel daunting, but you should have an employee handbook that will be clear to any employee that picks it up. It will help improve employee performance, set behavioral expectations, and protect you legally.
If you want to make sure that you have the most comprehensive employee handbook possible, you can turn to the experts at Einstein HR. As a professional employer organization (PEO) and HR outsourcing company, we have decades of experience crafting employee handbooks. For a free, no-obligation quote for this service, or any of your HR outsourcing needs, call one of our representatives today at (770) 962-1700.