An employee handbook can be a powerful and valuable reference tool for employers. It can allow employers to effectively communicate the company’s guidelines, rules and procedures to the employees. It can clearly define the employer-employee relationship and the extent to which each can exercise their duties and obligations in that relationship. Basically, it is a written resource that explicitly outlines what employers and employees can and cannot do, and how they should go about these actions.
Employers might want to include the sections below to protect themselves from preventable employment lawsuits.
The company’s goals and expectations
An employee handbook should let employees know what the company and their employer expect from them. It should include the company’s mission, vision and values. Employees should adhere to company policies and guidelines. They should perform according to company standards set in the handbook. You can include regular performance review procedures as well.
The employee handbook will explain disciplinary measures for when employees cannot fulfill their expected role in the company. It prevents employees from making retaliation and wrongful termination claims when their employer takes adverse action against them. The employer can simply tell them to refer to the handbook.
Company policy against harassment and discrimination
The Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) and federal laws safeguard the interests of protected classes in the workplace and take an active stance against harassment and discrimination. Your employee handbook should have policies that thoroughly address these issues so that employees cannot use these laws against you.
Code of conduct
Aside from job performance expectations, you also want your employees to behave a certain way in the workplace. They should not be repeatedly late or absent unless they use their leaves rightfully. Similarly, you would not want an employee always using their cellphone in the office. The code of conduct allows you to manage the behavior of your employees and their supervisors.
The employee handbook should include the expectations and limitations of each person’s role in the company. Employers should consider regularly updating their employee handbook and make sure it has the relevant terms and conditions.