Importance of an Employee Handbook

Employee Handbook
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You’ve heard of something called an Employee Handbook and you know that big companies have them. But you never thought that a company of your size needs one.

Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “We’re not so formal. We all get along. We’re basically a family. Why do we need rules? It kills the vibe.” And then you realize that no one has any idea what the vacation policy is… because you don’t actually have a vacation policy!

You usually approve vacation requests because you’re a nice boss. Most employees don’t abuse it. They take care of you (the employer), and you take care of them. You don’t keep track of how much time each employee takes off because in your mind there’s no need to.

It works out pretty well. Usually. Except when it doesn’t.

Like for the employee that takes off just a tad bit more often than you’d really like, but you don’t want to make an issue. After all, you never told them how much is too much.

And the employee that never asks for time off because they don’t know how much they’re entitled to. They don’t want to ask and put you on the spot.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I need a whole employee handbook just to talk about vacation?

Of course not.

You’ll also need to address holidays. There are legal holidays and Yom Tov too. And don’t forget about Chol Hamoed, Purim, and Erev Pesach. Are you open or closed? Are you paying your hourly workers for those days?

This should all be clearly communicated in the Employee Handbook.

The other pages of the handbook will get much less attention than the holiday and vacation sections, but they might be even more important.

A properly written handbook will include policies addressing harassment, confidentiality, workplace conduct, company property, use of company hardware and software, expectation of privacy (or not), attendance and punctuality, conflict of interest, no call no show, social media, and a slew of other important items.

Your particular state may require specific policies regarding jury duty leave, voting leave, or a host of other protections that you must provide to your employees.

Like many things in life, you can DIY or you can hire a professional. Some people I know have tried the DIY route, gotten frustrated, and then called a professional to do it right. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought it might.

Do you want one more reason to invest in a professionally written Employee Handbook?

A properly written handbook sends the message to employees that we do things in a professional manner. We are organized, compliant, and clear.
I have that found that employees appreciate working for employers that follow the rules and are proud of it.