You don't need to choose - at least not now.
This article will help guide you in crafting an effective employee manual. Getty Images Employee manuals, policy and procedure manuals, employee handbooks -- whatever you want to call them -- are often considered a necessary evil by both employees and employers.
They typically generate consternation from employees, especially if they are not clear, well-written, and specific to the business and if they focus mostly on negativity -- in other words list, only what not to do.
Employers, meanwhile, typically look at these manuals in terms of how to cover their…assets…in the event of any potential lawsuits. There is, however, a better way. In order to have an effective policy manual, the employer should take the time to identify what is important to the business, both in keeping the employees informed and happy, as well as accomplishing the business objectives of the company.
But the devil is in the details, as they say. The success of an employee handbook hinges on what you include and how you word policies. The first rule for writing a winning playbook is that it must be written in a clear, understandable manner, and reflect the culture of the business.
Certain policies need to be in the handbook by law. This means that you should take the time to learn about local and state requirements, as well as federal requirements, Cooper says. Other policies should be in the handbook to protect the employer.
The following guide will outline what you must include by law, clauses that legal experts say every employee handbook should include, and then other optional provisions you may want to include in an employee handbook to make it work for you and your employees.
What to Include In an Employee Handbook: Handbook Provisions Required by Law Before getting down to writing an employee handbook, business leaders need to understand what they need to include by law. That may also determine how you decide to set up the employee handbook.
The first step is to become familiar with federal, state, and local employment laws that you must abide by -- some are even required to be posted in the company employee handbook. Department of Labor spells out information for employers about federal laws that impact workplace issues on its website at www.
If your business operates in more than one state, you may have legal reasons for writing different handbooks for employees in each state.
For example, if you have different business units, such as a manufacturing facility and a sales and research facility, you may want to have the core handbook be the same for each group of employees but you may want to include specific policies for specific business units, such as if one business unit has a union or hourly-paid employees, Cooper says.
After determining how you will approach the employee handbook, you need to determine which policies you need to include by law. Some companies offer software or templates that can be a good start to step you through the process.
But policies may vary from state to state. If you are unsure which policies are required by law, you should check with human resources organizations or your employment attorney. Many state labor departments also have listings on their websites for employers about laws they must abide by when doing business in the state and these can be helpful in determining what to include in an employee handbook.
The policies you need to include in an employee handbook by law may include the following: Family medical leave policies. Many states have their own policies regarding unpaid family leave, as well. Equal employment and non-discrimination policies. Department of Labor requires many businesses to post information stating that the business follows non-discrimination and equal employment opportunity laws in hiring and promotion.
Among other laws that might require inclusion in employee handbooks are policies regarding accommodation of disabilities, policies on military leave, policies on breast-feeding accommodation, and crime victims leave policies. Clauses Every Employee Handbook Should Include There are a few general disclaimers that every employee handbook should have.
Cooper recommends the following wording: Although we hope our employment relationship will be long term, either the Company or you can end the relationship at any time, with or without notice, with or without reason, to the extent allowed by law.
The handbook should make clear that it is the ultimate word on company policies. Cooper suggests you use the following language: This is how Cooper suggests you word this provision: From time to time you may receive notice of new or modified policies, procedures, benefits, or programs.
In order to protect your business, and verify that your employees are aware that your company abides by these laws, it is important to include an acknowledgment page that the employee signs and returns. The acknowledgement should state that the employee understands it is their responsibility to read and follow the policies.
Acknowledgement of an Employee Handbook Receipt What to Include in an Employee Handbook Before you write your employee handbook, you also should take the time to determine what is important to you as a business.
Do you care about how your employees appear when they are at work?November 22, 3 Virginia Licensure Renewal Manual Introduction Thank you for your interest in renewing your Virginia license.
Please follow the renewal. Communicate your policies effectively and hold your team accountable to company values within an employee handbook.
Download Rocket Lawyer's employee manual template and ensure that everything you need is in one place for employees and legal teams a like. This section is to provide State Employees with the information they need and seek most often.
If there is a topic you think should be included in this section, please contact us and let us know. Employee Handbook and Policies Guidelines, Policies and Procedures for Pace Employees. If you are assembling a comprehensive employee manual handbook for your organization, here is a list of policies, procedures, forms, checklists to include.
Are occupational injuries or illnesses, except minor injuries requiring only first aid, recorded as required on the OSHA log? Are employee medical records and records of employee exposure to hazardous substances or harmful physical agents up-to-date and in compliance with current OSHA standards?