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Why an Employee Handbook is Necessary

Susie wanders in half an hour late two or three times a week. James checks his personal e-mail and monitors Internet auction prices at work. They're both good workers -- but they're giving the other employees the wrong message. If you have problems like these, it might be time to create an employee handbook.

Sound too "corporate"? The truth is, even very small businesses can benefit from having an employee handbook. Having things in writing puts your employees on equal footing, gives you rules to enforce, and helps new hires learn the rules quickly.

Mission statement. Start your handbook by painting the big picture: What is your company all about? What are your goals? A mission statement can help your employees feel more like part of the team.

General policies. This is where you spell out your dress code; your hours of operation, pay periods, and holidays; the company policy on telephone and Internet use; and other general information.

Leave. This section covers your policies on sick leave, vacation time, maternity leave, jury duty, personal and funeral leave, and military duty.

Benefits. Here's where you provide information about any health, disability, or life insurance, or any other benefits you provide.

Discipline. This part can get tricky. Some courts have considered employee handbooks as legally binding contracts. Check with an employment attorney for help and advice.

For more tips on how to keep business best practices front and center for your company, give us a call today. We can't wait to hear from you.