An employee handbook is like the user manual to your company, it will help you and your employees see eye to eye on everything from how much vacation they get to what’s expected of them on the job.
Think about the culture you want to encourage in your company. Look at the size of your company to determine which federal laws affect you. Do you want to be able to terminate unsatisfactory employees in a timely manner? What benefits are you going to provide? Will you need a dress code?
Encouraging a friendly, ethical, and efficient work place for all employees starts with the owner and the Employee Handbook.
To begin; list the expectations you have regarding mutual respect, common courtesy, and consequences for insubordination. Unlawful discrimination or harassment can cause problems you don’t want and your employees should not have to deal with; you can handle this from the start by including wording that prohibits this behavior. Don’t be vague, if you are unsure about the wording, this might be the time to hire a consultant for input.
You should include:
The size of your company dictates the federal laws you are required to follow, and the laws should be included in your handbook. The following are some examples:
Once everyone has understood the new policies, draw a hard line as a business owner. Be firm that this handbook applies to everyone, period. The handbook being in place means no playing favorites. Everyone deserves equal treatment, but you’ll need to make sure of this for the policies within your handbook to be taken seriously by the rest of the team. You as the small business owner and your managers need to uphold the handbook to the highest extent, and that means playing by the rules you set.
Review your handbook at least once a year to make sure that your policies are in alignment with the company’s norms and with your state, local, and federal laws.
You reserve the right to change your policies at any time. When changes are made, your employees should receive an updated handbook or an addendum they can add to their existing book, and they must always sign and return a receipt for it.
Maintaining an Employee Handbook doesn’t need to be a daunting task, but if you are unsure, there is help out there. An Employee Handbook is a critical building block of your new company. It helps set the foundation for your future growth and success. Make sure you put your company on a firm foundation, and if you need help, EBR Consulting is here to make it easy and pain free.
Are you trying to decide whether to hire an employee or not? It’s a big step in owning a small business. Think about how much your time is worth. If you were offered $10.00 to stop what you are doing and sit in a dark room for an hour, would you do it? What about $100.00? $1,000.00? At some point we will cross the threshold of what your time is worth, where sitting in that dark room will profit you more.
Here are just a few reasons you should bite the bullet and hire an employee:
There are things you need consider when making the decision to hire someone:
After you’ve considered all of these things, you’ve interviewed candidates, you’ve done your due diligence and chosen a candidate…You give your candidate an offer letter and they accept.
Life is good, right? Yes, but you haven’t crossed the finish line yet.
Now you need to train your new hire. You can’t expect them to jump in feet first and be totally knowledgeable about your company, your customers, and how you like to do things.
This point is where your company culture really comes in to play. If you are casual - or appear to be casual - about returning calls to clients, your new hire will understand that customer service is not your priority. If your attitude toward your customers, suppliers, and others is less than respectful, it will be apparent and your new employee will eventually mirror your attitudes.
“Set the example,” “walk the talk,” and “begin as you mean to go on” are cliches for a reason. They work and will make you a better boss and your new hire a better employee.
Hiring your first employee should be a fun experience, highlighting your growing and maturing business. If you are unsure about how to take that first step, get some help. EBR Consulting is here to help you take those momentous steps with confidence.
You may think that because your small business currently has one employee - yourself- you don’t need to worry about something like company culture, but that’s exactly when you should start. “Begin as you mean to go on” is a good way to look at it.