When Is It Time For An Employee Handbook
As a small business owner there are key milestones on the road of entrepeneurship. An idea forms, the business plan written, papers filed, first customer/client and you’re off to run the company. At the beginning or eventually as the growth begins, the need for employees also becomes a reality and there are definitely some new responsibilities to be concerned with.
Let’s cover a few of those items and evaluate when some formal rules/policies and processes might come into play.
Hiring – How do you communicate the expectations when the new employee arrives? Will they remember what is said during “training”? Are they a note taker or looking for a handout to follow?
Payroll – What’s the process and details to communicate?
Sick Time/Vacation/Holidays – What do we offer? Who’s eligible? When does it kick in?
Benefits – When does coverage start? How do I sign up?
Conduct – What’s acceptable or grounds for discipline or termination?
Attendance – How many times is too many times to be absent?
While some of these may not apply and most of them can be communicated verbally, it’s difficult to confirm that this important information is being retained. Or just as critical, how do I prove what was said in the first place if an issue arises?
Employee handbooks are a valuable tool to resolve these challenges and provide a concise collection of the basic information to enhance and manage the employee experience. It can be 5 pages or 50. The size and scope of your business will determine what is the right content, format and delivery method. It’s never too soon to provide the right information but it CAN be too late if disputes, disruption of work flow or even legal issues arise from a lack of guidance.
Consider your current process and determine if it’s time for you to put something a little more structured in place.