What do you remember about the first time you were hired to do a job?
· When is payday?
· Do you get paid holidays?
· Will you be paid overtime wages?
· What are the company’s rules regarding attendance?
· Are there any benefits and will you be eligible for them?
If you remembered to ask all these questions and can remember the answers, you are not the average new employee!
When you were first hired, were you made aware of the company’s expectations regarding your behavior toward the customer and your fellow employees?
Did the person hiring you explain the company’s vision, where they want to be in 5 years,10? Odds are that if you were not given an employee handbook at that hiring meeting, you didn’t remember the answers to the previous questions (except about payday!) And even better odds are that you then went to a more experienced employee for the answers rather than a manager.
Even if you currently have only one employee, that employee should have an employee handbook. These handbooks are not required to be multi-paged, printed in 4 color and bound. They can be one page– as long as they are written in a clear understandable manner and reflect the culture of your business.
An effective employee manual both protects your company from litigation and puts staff members at ease by spelling out in positive terms the company’s policies. Your employee handbook should state that it does not constitute an employment contract, and you always need to have it vetted by your lawyer. For guidelines regarding employee handbooks, a good source is the Small Business Association. www.sba.gov