As an engaged employer, you have plenty of responsibilities to take care of. Creating, reviewing, and updating an employee handbook can feel like a low priority when you’re running or scaling a business. But it shouldn’t be.
A strong employee handbook is an essential tool for company employees and leaders alike. The legal team at Mullen Holland & Cooper P.A. has described why a comprehensive employee handbook is a critical component of your business. If you need help evaluating the legal considerations of your employee handbook, an experienced North Carolina employment lawyer can help.
Outlining Your Values and Company Goals
When a new employee joins your organization, your employee handbook provides one of their first and most important impressions of the company’s culture and values. It can answer common questions about how your business operates, your long-term goals, and your stated mission.
Employees who understand how they fit into your organization and what they’re working toward are more likely to feel like true members of the team. That can only benefit you.
Letting Your Employees Know What to Expect
A good employee handbook should give your employees a clear idea of your expectations of them and what they can expect from the company. This includes factors like timekeeping responsibilities, safety expectations, and what employees should do when they need help with a task.
By providing this information clearly on day one, you can help your employees avoid potential uncertainty, conflict, and discouragement.
Making Sure Your Policies Are Clear and Consistently Enforced
If you don’t describe your policies clearly, you can’t expect your employees to understand or follow them. When drafting an employee handbook, employers must outline company policies and expectations thoroughly regarding workplace conduct, employment, and compensation.
Keep in mind that your employee handbook applies to leadership, too. Clear policies will help supervisors, managers, and executives enforce these policies consistently and fairly across all departments and groups.
Explaining Employee Benefits and Programs
When you explain the benefits you offer your employees fully, you help them understand how much you value their hard work and commitment. This can significantly improve employee satisfaction and long-term retention.
Good employee handbooks describe the policies and eligibility requirements for all company benefits, including vacation time, retirement plans, paid leave, and health insurance. You’ll also want to outline any employee programs you offer, such as workplace assistance or reporting programs.
Complying with State and Federal Employment Laws
Companies are not required to create or supply their employees with handbooks, so many employers choose to forego them. However, several laws do require employers to notify their employees of certain rights and entitlements.
An employee handbook is an excellent way to give employees legally required information such as equal employment opportunities and how to report workplace harassment. It’s also far more streamlined than bogging employees down with disorderly stacks of mandatory paperwork.
Protecting Your Company from Liability
If your company faces a lawsuit or another type of claim from an employee, the information contained in your employee handbook could be a lifesaver. A strong employee handbook will demonstrate that your company cares about its employees and complies with state and federal employment laws.
If you have your employees sign acknowledgment pages when they receive their handbooks, this could be important proof of their understanding and willingness to follow company policies. In short, the handbook protects you and your business.
Contact an Employment Law Attorney Today
To learn more about how your business could benefit by implementing a thorough and up-to-date employee handbook, contact the North Carolina employment attorneys of Mullen Holland & Cooper P.A. for an initial case review.