Business owners frequently ask me: "Must I have an
employee handbook? I really don't want written policies
that tie my hands. I'd rather make decisions based on
issues, not a package of rules."
While employee handbooks aren't required, I tell my
clients that there are a number of benefits.
SOME OF THE BENEFITS
* A centralized location for government-mandated and
company-specific policies provides a set of guidelines for
how things are handled in your company.
* Written guidelines reduce the risk of misunderstandings
* Written guidelines protect you and your employees from
such issues as favoritism and discrimination charges,
lawsuits, reduced productivity and reduced employee
* When policies and guidelines are written and followed,
employees are more likely to feel they are treated fairly.
* Managers have a resource for consistent decision making
rather than making it up as they go.
* A well-written handbook is also an opportunity to engage
your employees and share your company's history and
culture, as well as the rights and responsibilities of
employees. Benefits, compensation, flexible work
schedule guidelines, company teams, paid time off
policies and other aspects of an employee-friendly
workplace also can be shared.
FREQUENT EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK PITFALLS
As I work with clients to write or update employee handbooks, here are some of the common pitfalls I counsel them to avoid: