Employee Handbooks, What Should I Include?
If you are a business owner or a store manager, you are not going to be able to get away from the concept of the employee handbook. You will most likely be the one to hire the new workers and get them prepared to work up to company standards. The employee handbook is perhaps one of the most important pieces of material next to the pay check. It is a “work bible” of sorts. It is what the new new employee should refer to whenever he or she has any questions or concerns. The following are 10 pieces of information that you will want to include when you are compiling the Employee handbook:
1. The Job Description
The first thing you will want to have in the handbook is a list of the various job descriptions and a signature spot so the employee can verify that he or she has read the information. It is important for each employee to know what the duties of the position are so that there will be no discrepancies or arguments about any tasks that management asks them to perform.
2. The Company Dress Code
The company dress code is another important piece of information that needs to go inside of the employee handbook. Workers need to know the company’s expectations and restrictions regarding earrings, facial jewelry, facial hair, hygiene, clothing and the like. Some employees may want to keep long beards or wear skirts for religious purposes, and you must make it clear whether or not your company is willing to work with them on those matters. If it isn’t in the handbook, then it may not come up until the employee comes to work the first time, and a problem could arise because of it.
3. Policies on Relationships
New employees should be aware of workplace relationship policies, especially if they are members of the management team. Certain human resources issues may arise within your company if the new employee gets into a romantic relationship with someone on the team or hires a friend, family member or loved one. All new employees should be aware of your company’s policies regarding this matter, and they should sign a letter of acknowledgment. The information should disclose to them what could happen if they commit such violations.
4. Pay Information and Dates
Every employee wants to know about the pay. The handbook should include pertinent information about the work week, pay date and pay types. A new employee will need to know if your business only pays by pay card or direct deposit, for example. They should also know about any overtime pay rates, holiday pay and days, vacation benefits, personal time and the like. You may wish to include information about what differentiates a part-time employee from a full-time employee and which benefits the part-time employee has access to.
5. The Disciplinary Code
The disciplinary code is another crucial element that your new employee will want to have. The disciplinary code lets employees know the reasons and the processes for disciplinary action. Lateness and absenteeism should be included in this section. If your property uses the point system, explain it in detail. Let the employee know how many points will prompt a corrective action, what corrective action will occur at each point interval, and when such points will fall off of the person’s record. The same thing applies to the write-up system. The new employee should know exactly how the system works and all the activities that can get that person written up.
6. Reasons for Immediate Termination
All employers have a list of violations that call for immediate termination no matter what the reason for the violation is. Such lists may include actions such as fighting in the workplace, coming to the job inebriated or under the influence of drugs, having weapons on the site, threatening a customer and the like. The new employee should be aware of such violations so that he or she can be sure not to partake in them. The page that displays this information should provide the opportunity for the employee to place his or her confirmation signature, as well.
New employees should know the workers’ compensation policy. They should receive some instructions on what to do if they should receive an injury in the workplace. The information should include the number of who they should call. The details could go a little deeper and explain a little bit more about the process. If your job requires employees to go to appointed medical experts, that information should be included, as well.
8. Break Policies
The break room and break time policies should be in the handbooks somewhere. A new employee will want to know if he or she gets a paid or unpaid break and the amount of time that the break should be. You should include any rules about leaving the premises if you have them.
9. Safety Regulations
All employees should be aware of the safety procedures and regulations. Therefore, you will need to let them know what they have to do in situation such as:
- Opening and closing the store
- Handling money
- Handling hazardous materials
- Handling irate customers
- Dealing with an active robbery
Hopefully, your establishment will never have to see a robbery, but the information needs to be there regardless.
10. Important Contact Numbers
Finally, your employees should have a list of important phone numbers and email addresses. Some of the numbers you may include in this document are supervisor extensions or numbers, HR, other stores, supply warehouses, shipping companies, repair persons, IT specialists and the like. Employees should be aware of the proper way to solve workplace issues, as well.
Employees and employers can have wonderful relationships if everything is out on the table before the working relationship begins. Your employee handbook is the perfect tool for letting the employees know what you expect of them. Additional information can go in them as you see fit. This is just a basic list of some crucial items that you should not overlook.