Policies to Include in Your Employee Handbook (And to Leave Out)
An up-to-date, legal employee handbook is essential for all businesses – large or small. With the numerous reasons why every business should have a handbook, it’s hard to justify not having one. Not only does it keep all policies, benefits, and work standards in a single document, but it also helps you hire higher quality talent and better manage your employees.
While it may seem like an easy solution, every business is different so it is difficult to simply plug policies into a handbook template. Instead, you are best served by investing time and resources to developing a well-written, purposeful, and detailed employee handbook tailored specifically to your business. Regardless of the size and scope of your company, there are a few policies every employer should consider having in their handbook:
- Employment Policies and Procedures
- Compensation and Benefits
- Working Hours and Schedules
- Vacation, Holiday, Sick, and Personal Time
- Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)
- Safety and Security
- Conflict Management
- Travel and Expense Reimbursement
- Discipline and Behavior
- Social Media and Technology Use
Just as important to having the appropriate required and recommended policies and procedures outlined in your employee handbook is leaving out policies that may negatively impact your company, culture and employee morale. Some examples of policies to consider leaving out are:
- Bell Curve Performance Reviews – Performance reviews that require managers to designate a certain percentage of employees ‘excellent,’ another percentage ‘above average,’ and so on are unfair to both your managers and employees.
- Salaried Employee Overtime, Without Comp Time – If salaried employees work overtime, they need to be able to take time off when they need it to compensate, without having to dip into their allotted vacation or personal time.
- Proof of Death – Requiring a death certificate from an employee as proof a loved one has actually passed on is a terrible position to put an employee in.
- Overly Complicated Bonus Eligibility – A bonus program employees don’t understand is poor motivation to achieve bonus-worthy goals.
Every business is different, meaning every employee handbook will be different. While there are many handbook templates out there, investing time and resources on the front end to developing a well-written, purposeful, and detailed handbook will be more beneficial, especially in the long run.
Whether it’s just a policy addition or an entire handbook, The Arnold Group’s experienced HR Business Partners will assist in developing clear and appropriate polices that are up-to-date and tailored for your industry and company culture. We can audit your existing handbook or develop a customized handbook to ensure your content is current, relevant, and required. Additionally, we can help design the internal procedures behind your handbook policies as well as assist in training your managers and supervisors regarding their responsibilities outlined in your policies.