A handbook could be the most important document you create for your business. Here are the top 3 reasons why:
- It helps your employees know what you expect from them
A handbook is a collection of the policies of your practice. You use this document to create an understanding for how your employees will perform in the workplace. It includes how you will address concerns should they arise during the duration of your relationship.
- It helps your employees know what they can expect from you
You aren’t the only one getting something out of the relationship with your employee. Your handbook will provide a clear outline of the benefits that are provided now – and how those benefits evolve if they stick around long term!
- It ensures you are following local, state and federal laws
Local, State and Federal Laws regulate the employer/employee relationship and most states have at least one unique policy that needs to be shared. A handbook creates a simple place for those policies, so you and your employee have an easy reference available to you at any time.
Without a handbook, it becomes more difficult to manage your relationship with your employees and it opens your business up to liability.
I have found that not having an up to date and legally compliant handbook is a common problem. Creating a handbook is time consuming and requires research, developing policy and a true evaluation of the practice’s priorities. It is hard to make sitting down at a computer to write a 25-50 page document a priority when there is so much else to do! Plus, when that process is done, the handbook isn’t finished! It will need to be verified by an employment attorney to ensure it is accurate to local, state and federal laws!
What is the status of your handbook?
- Did you get a copy from a colleague who also has a small business?
- How old is your handbook? Has it been more than a few years since you updated it?
- Have you decided that its not a priority right now?
- Have you have pulled together the “important” policies like attendance and the state required sick leave but as far as everything else….?
An up-to-date handbook is a simple tool that every practice owner should have, no matter if there are 2 employees or 35. When are you going to start yours?
IDOC is piloting a service that will provide a legally-compliant handbook with the option to keep the handbook updated year after year. If you are interested in hearing more about this program, reach out to Amy Alvarez, HR Consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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