Many small companies might not think that they need an employee handbook. With only a few employees, they can discuss policies in person easily enough and be flexible about some things like working from home or taking time off. However, that is not sustainable as a company grows and, even at a small size, a handbook with well-documented policies and procedures can protect businesses in the event that a problem occurs with even one employee down the road.
As explained by Paycor, a provider of human resources software, a good employee handbook protects employers and clarifies expectations for both employers and employees, ideally preventing potential problems caused by interpretation or misunderstandings. It can also help create and communicate the culture that a company has or wants to build and strengthen. A business’ employees can be their biggest brand ambassadors so this can be very useful.
A variety of points should be included in a handbook. According to Forbes, these should include items related to the full compensation package such as an explanation of all benefits. When referencing benefits, the handbook should also indicate what optional coverages an employee may elect, such as adding to the coverage for a disability or life insurance policy. Paid time off, or PTO, should not only indicate how many days off a year are given but how employees request time off or report illnesses.
Anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies should be set forth in an employee handbook. This outlines policies carefully but also tells people about your environment and beliefs. Finally, the handbook should also tell people how to file complaints should they ever have them.