Think back to your first job. Maybe you remember your employer thrusting a multi-page tome into your hands and telling you to go away and read it. Chances are you read a few pages of their employee handbook, then stuck it in a drawer, never to be read again.
Now you are starting your own company, and you may wonder if you need to inflict the same pain on your employees or if you can save them and your time by dispensing with an employee handbook altogether.
Employee handbooks are still relevant
Having one is still a good idea, even if you prefer to save paper by keeping it online. Here are some of the reasons why:
It helps you set the tone
You can tell someone what you expect from them regarding hours, punctuality and conduct. Yet if you only do it verbally, they may deny the conversation ever took place. If you have people sign to say they have read the handbook, they cannot deny knowing they were breaking company policy.
It gives your employees the information they need
Starting in a new company can feel overwhelming, and people can feel bad about bothering their colleagues or supervisors for information about every little thing. Putting some of it in writing can relieve some of those problems.
It is also crucial so employees can find out what to do when difficult situations arise. For instance, if someone harasses them, they might be unsure who to tell and not want to risk telling the wrong person or having the whole office find out. If you clarify how they can report issues in the manual, they are less likely to be put off.
Many employee handbooks are still ineffective because they are poorly written. Getting legal help to ensure yours covers everything it needs to while remaining accessible means it is more likely to serve you and your employees in the way you hope.