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If you're looking to create workplace guidelines for your small business, an Employee Handbook not only outlines your company's employment-related policies and general rules of conduct, but it also helps you protect your legal rights and responsibilities as an employer. With everyone on the same page, you can all work together as a team.
Use an Employee Handbook if:
You would like to establish certain rules of conduct for your employees to ensure that your work environment is safe, healthy, and positive for all company personnel.
No matter the size of your business, it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page. An Employee Handbook allows you to set out the internal rules for your company and saves you training time when a new employee is hired. It can creates a paper trail that can be really valuable if things go south with someone you work with. By signing the Employee Handbook, your employees are attesting that they not only understand what’s inside, but that they promise to abide by it.
Our Employee Handbook is customizable, allowing you to lay out the rules that are right for you and your business. Here are some options you’ll have when creating your Employee Handbook.
Choices to make when creating an Employee Handbook:
You’ll have many options when creating your Employee Handbook. Examples include how long someone must work to be considered full-time, how often employees are paid, and whether you offer direct deposit.
Of course, there are certain things you’re legally disallowed from including in your handbook. For example, you can’t have sections that expressly prohibit employees from practicing certain religions. Nothing like that example in our Employee Handbook.
Here are some questions to consider when writing your document:
Will you require employees to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement? Depending on the kind of business you have, you might need a signed NDA from an employee. If you’re hiring someone who will have access to your marketing plans or your engineering back-end, it’s probably a smart idea. If you’re hiring a waitress for your lunch shift, it’s probably not worth your time.
Would you like to create your own dress code? Our handbook contains a simple, basic dress code, noting the employee is required to show “discretion” and “good taste.” But if you have a specific dress code, be it a branded shirt for floor salesmen or business casual for accountants, make sure to include it in your Employee Handbook.
Would you like to include a social media policy? If your employee is going to use your business’s social media accounts, consider including a social media policy. You can lay out what this person can and can’t say as well as assert ownership over followers, likes, etc. that they earn while working.
What benefits do you offer? Whether it’s a 401(k), profit sharing, commuter benefits, health care, or tickets to your local baseball team, include a section about benefits if you offer them. This is always nice for employees, as when they’re reading a document that details the rules and don’ts of your business, they’ll also see the perks they’re getting there, on paper, officially.
What's your paid time off (PTO) policy? Note what kind of PTO you offer and to which employees you offer it. Please keep in mind that certain kinds of time off are enforceable by law (such as maternity leave).
Other employment documents
If you’re creating an Employee Handbook, chances are you’ll need some other hiring and HR documents. We’ve got your covered. Here are a few of our popular employment documents and forms:
If you have any questions about what’s right for you and your business, we can connect you with a lawyer for quick answers or a document review. If you're looking for more information about hiring employees, or other employee related documents, be sure to visit our Human Resources Guide.
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