Maybe you remember being handed a weighty tome and told to read it at your first job. Now that you are setting up your own company, you may feel that employee handbooks belong in the past.
Paper versions might, but you certainly need to give your employees something, even if it is digital. Failing to have one wastes a great opportunity to protect your company from litigation. Here is why the employee handbook can help.
They tell your employees what you expect of them
Imagine this: Two years later, you fire an employee for constantly being late or leaving early. They take you to court about it, and the judge asks you to define late and early.
If you put the work hours in your employee manual, it will be hard for the employee to say they did not know. The same can apply to all those other things you expect of staff.
They tell your employees where to go for help
An employee files a complaint alleging someone has been harassing them at work for the past six months, and you did nothing about it. You ask them why they didn’t speak up earlier. They tell you they did speak to someone. However, the person they told had no authority to do anything.
As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring people know the correct routes to report issues. Your employee handbook is a great place to do this. You should, of course, reinforce it with notices in prominent positions and training.
There is legal help available if you face employee litigation. Yet getting help earlier to ensure your employee handbook covers what it should will reduce the chance you find yourself in that situation.