What is in an employee handbook?
An employee handbook is a vital piece of workmanship that disseminates information to your employees. It is an important communication tool between ownership, management, and employees so that are on the same page regarding expectations, requirements, and policies. It can also include legal obligations, employee rights, and a variety of other information that may be helpful to anyone in your company.
A handbook can include a wide variety of information. Here is a list of suggestions section and subsections to include in your employee handbook:
- Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and Conflict of Interest Statements.
- Anti-Discrimination Policies so you and you employees know how to comply with these governmental regulations
- Compensation- You don’t need to include detailed numbers in the section, but include
- Payroll Schedules: include what happens if the payday falls on a holiday
- How monies are distributed: by check, direct deposit, cash, another method
- Overtime Pay and any rules governing the accumulation of overtime
- Salary Increases
- Bonus Structures
- Sick Pay and Rules
- Performance Reviews
- How often reviews will occur
- What may happen if an employee receives one or more poor reviews
- Benefits Programs
- Time-Keeping Records: clocking in, keeping personal records and submitting them, etc.
- Work Schedules
- Exceptions to work days – ex. rainy days, snow days, etc
- Attendance Rules
- How to request time off
- How time off is approved
- Punctuality – what happens if you’re late
- Vacation Rules – ex: use it or lose it policies, can use so many days in a row, etc.
- Dress Code
- Hygiene Requirements
- Ethical Expectations
- Can include how employees are to treat one another
- How employees are to treat customers/suppliers/clients
- Legal Expectations
- Confidentiality, non-discrimination policies, etc.
- Drug Screenings (if applicable)
- Employment Eligibility
- What may disqualify you from being an employee
- Job Classifications – can include each job with a job description
- Employee Referrals
- Any benefits given to employees that refer a new hire
- Any benefits given to employees that refer new customers
- Employee Records:
- How they are stored and secured
- Who is cleared to access them.
- Probationary Periods
- Resignation Procedures
- Transfers and Relocation
- How to put in for a transfer
- Funds given
- Union Information
- Policy for creating a safe and secure workplace as well as expectations from employees
- What happens if the company or the employee doesn’t follow these rules
- ex: OSHA rules
- Your employee’s responsibility for abiding by all physical and information security policies, such as locking file cabinets or computers when not in use.
- Outline policies for appropriate computer and software use.
- Media Relations: how to handle media if the need should arise.
- Leave Policies: family medical leave, jury duty, military leave, and time off for court cases and voting should all be documented to comply with state and local laws. In addition, you should explain your policies for vacation, holiday, bereavement and sick leave.
Free Employee Handbook Template
Creating an employee handbook may seem like a daunting task, but the HR team at PayTech high recommends spending the time to make one. The dividends can pay out in the future when you have a dispute or discrepancy with an employee. If clearly explained in the employee manual, a situation can be solved quite quickly; even saving you from legal battles in extreme cases.
You can find free templates online, which may be good a business just starting out. But keep in mind that a template is just that, a cookie cutter version of someone else’s ideas. If you go this route, look for a template specific to your industry, or as close as you can get. You’ll also need to review the laws in your individual state to make sure the policies listed in the template are accurate to the policies in your state.
Custom Employee Handbooks for Small Business
For those wanting a little more specificity and help to create an employee manual, we recommend working with a professional HR company. HR experts, like the ones at Pay-tech, know exactly what should go into your employee manual. They also know how to word policies, requirements, and suggestions that are easy to read and comprehend. (You don’t want to spend a dime on something your employees can’t understand). Our HR team works to understand your business and create a custom handbook suited for your business. They’ll also research governmental regulations for your specific industry, state, and county to ensure each is properly addressed in the handbook. This saves you money and gives you peace of mind that you’re covered.
For more information about having a custom handbook made for your company, call our office today or visit us online.