Members of your staff are like the lifeblood of your company. The work that they perform allows you generate revenue. However, employees can also be a source of issues for your company.
An employee who doesn’t follow safety protocols and gets hurt could drastically increase the cost you pay for workers’ compensation insurance. A worker who behaves inappropriately with their subordinates could lead to a discrimination or harassment lawsuit.
One of the best ways for a company to protect itself from the misbehavior of its employees is to have clear policies about worker behavior. An employee handbook can help protect your company from many sources of liability that stem from bringing on new employees.
A handbook establishes performance expectations
A worker who doesn’t do a good job isn’t an asset to your company. Having clear expectations for different positions and including them, along with performance review rules, in your employee handbook can prevent your company from having long-term financial responsibilities to someone who doesn’t do their job well.
A handbook provides steps for addressing discrimination and harassment
Simply saying that your company doesn’t tolerate discrimination or harassment isn’t enough. You have to take steps to prevent or stop bad behavior that does occur. Having a reporting process in your handbook that tells your workers how to report mistreatment on the job is important.
An employee handbook explains what workers can expect for compensation
From policies on paid leave and holiday wages to severance packages, your employee handbook should explain how you compensate and reward your staff. Having clear rules on everything from bonuses to benefits can help you avoid claims by disappointed workers who had unrealistic expectations about their compensation.
A handbook can help prevent one worker from damaging a company’s reputation
It’s more common than ever for businesses to have rules about how workers use social media and also how they represent the company to the broader community. Employees who go viral on social media for the wrong reasons or those who become locally notorious after an arrest could ruin your company’s reputation down along with their own.
Having rules that allow your company to lay off or terminate those who break the law, violate company policy, or engage in disrespectful or abusive rhetoric online can protect your company from a public relations nightmare.
Drafting a thorough and useful employee handbook typically requires careful consideration of your industry’s needs and an eye toward potential future issues as your business continues to grow. Good documents and planning help protect your business.