Your employee handbook is the instruction manual for your business. It helps employees understand what to expect of the company. However, it also helps them know what the company expects of them.
Your employee handbook needs to anticipate issues that can occur among employees. It should also anticipate issues that may occur between employees and management. To protect your company from potential disputes and litigation, you must include as much information as possible within your handbook. However, there are five key points your handbook should make sure to address.
1. Employer and Employee Expectations
One of the first things an employee handbook should address is expectations Employees need to know what you expect of them. These expectations go beyond job requirements. The employee handbook addresses issues like:
- The number of hours employees must work.
- Lunch breaks and other breaks
- Employee shifts
- Employee common area usage and allowances
- Requesting time off
- Safety on the job
- Clocking in and out
- Paydays and Payroll Expectations
2. Employee Benefits
Employees need a place to go for information regarding available benefits. Your compliant handbook is this place. The employee handbook should include what benefits are available to employees.
In addition to including what benefits are available, it should address who receives benefits. It should also address when benefits become available to qualified employees.
Your handbook should include voluntary benefits and benefits required by law, such as family leave, paid sick days, and more.
3. Company Policies and Procedures
Federal and state laws may dictate certain company policies and procedures, such as sexual harassment and discrimination. However, companies have the right to implement many policies and procedures affecting company culture.
The employee handbook should address acceptable office behaviors. These policies should be clearly laid out. The handbook should also discuss procedures when these policies are broken.
Procedures and consequences for violating policies should be discussed during onboarding. Employees should then sign off that they have read and understood these employee policies.
4. How to Report an Issue in the Workplace
Inevitably, employees will encounter problems within the workplace. The more employees within the workplace mean the more diverse workforce with varying points of view. These various points of view trying to reach a common ground may mean more issues occurring between employees and each other or management.
The employee handbook must provide information on how employees should report these instances. The chain of command should be clearly laid out. Additionally, the employee handbook should outline how to begin a claim. It should also outline the remedies available to employees experiencing these issues.
Finally, the handbook should include any legal remedies available if employees feel their claims are ignored or not handled well.
5. Who Employees Can Contact for Help
Finally, an employee handbook should outline all resources for help within the workplace. Helpful resources such as anonymous employee helplines to report management improprieties and contact information for HR should be part of the employee handbook.
The employee handbook should make these resources as accessible as possible. As a result, if employees file any litigation, your handbook can demonstrate you attempted to guide employees towards helpful resources to resolve their grievances.
If your company needs a compliant employee handbook, the experienced HR professionals at Workplace HCM can help. Contact them at 856.334.9711 to learn how they can help you complete this process.