Does Your Business Need an Employee Handbook?

I am often asked about whether a business should have an employee handbook. If your business has only one or two employees then they are likely aware of what is expected. However, if you employ more than just a few employees, an Employee Handbook may be beneficial to you.

A handbook will clearly set out your expectations for employees. An environment where expectations are ambiguous and policies are unknown is far more conducive to employees misusing time or wrongly focusing their efforts. A handbook can help ensure your employees don’t unnecessarily waste time assuming or guessing about company policies.

There is no “template” or standard form for an Employee Handbook. You just want to ensure that your handbook reflects your particular business policies. Whatever format you choose, the important thing to remember is to clearly state business policies and procedures, company rules and employee standards. This will also promote equal application of policies among employees.

If you do decide to have a handbook it is a good idea to include statements pertaining to various legal issues, such as equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination and accommodation for those with disabilities. You will also want to make certain that any legal statement included does not contradict current law.

Finally, Employers may also find a handbook provides them additional protection against future employment lawsuits given the fact termination for violation of clearly established, legal and consistent company policies is frequently deemed appropriate.