Lately, I have been visiting some small business owners needing help with their employees. These employees are not quite the best talent and these small business owners do not know what to do with them. To fight problem employees you have several tools you can use, one of them is your company’s employee manual! An employee manual sets forth your expectations for your employees, and describes what they can expect from your company. It also describes your legal obligations as an employer, and your employees’ rights. What are some of aspects you need to cover and you need to have in it?
Expectations for your employees: Write your expectations about work schedules (work hours and schedules, attendance, punctuality and reporting absences); expectations as to how you want your employees to conduct themselves with the public and in your company (dress code, ethics, behavior, etc)
Employees’ rights: You need to be aware and comply with the equal employment opportunity laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment; this includes the Americans with Disabilities Act. Remember to detail any benefit programs and eligibility requirements, including all benefits that may be required by law (paid sick leave, ACA, lactation law, family medical leave, jury duty, military leave). In addition, you should explain your policies for vacation, holiday, bereavement and sick leave.
Business protections: Do not forget your employment at will statements! You need to state that employment at-will may be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice at any time by the employee or the company. Add the right to revise the manual at any time and the confirmation of receipt.
Writing an employee manual is always challenging for small business owners. However, remember that the employee manual is a tool that will help you keep bad employees out and will help your business in the long run. You need to overcome the fear and protect you business! Put your company policies and practices in writing, your business and your pocket will appreciate it very much!