As a business owner looking to employ others, one of your first tasks should be to create an employee handbook.
While it might seem unnecessary when the company is only just starting, it can help set the tone for those who will join you. It helps ensure clarity about their legal rights and obligations. Yet, if you do not make it well, it could prove more trouble than help. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
It’s already out of date
Maybe you pull out your old employer’s handbook to guide you when writing yours. Be aware there is no guarantee it was well written and that relevant employment laws may have changed since it was.
It does not cover everything it should
You might assume that just doing your best to treat everyone equally is enough. That actions speak louder than words. However, when it comes to employment, you need to spell out certain things.
For example, write down your anti-discrimination policies. This makes clear what behavior you will accept from others and what you won’t. Remember, not all your employees might be as enlightened as you. Writing down courses of action available to those who need help to stop discrimination is also crucial.
You treat it as a job done
The employee handbook is just one step in your quest to comply with employment laws and avoid problems. Bear in mind many people will not read it properly, even if they sign to say they do. Things like notices and training sessions can help reinforce important points that people may miss if the only time you mention them is in the handbook.
Taking a proactive approach to employment law and seeking external help when unsure is the best way to avoid issues.