Your employee handbook can be a powerful tool for communicating expectations and rules to new employees. When creating small business employee handbook, there are several essentials you should consider including.
1. Anti-Discrimination Policies
Although there is no comprehensive federal anti-discrimination law, you may still want to embrace anti-discrimination policies in your business. You can detail those policies in your employee handbook. For instance, you may want to explain that your managers aren’t allowed to discriminate by race or gender when hiring. Or, you may want to emphasize that your employees can’t discriminate against your customers.
2. Anti-Harassment Policies
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 makes harassment illegal in the workplace. To emphasize this legal obligation, you may want to include a harassment policy in your handbook. Keep in mind that you can go beyond sexual harassment. For instance, you may also want to let employees know that they aren’t allowed to retaliate against co-workers who complain about harassment and remind them not to create a hostile work environment.
3. Disciplinary Policies
Consider using your employee handbook to answer what happens when rules are broken. You may want to list possible infractions such as arriving late or harassing someone and then, explain the punitive action associated with that grievance. Alternatively, you may want to detail your disciplinary practices. For instance, you may want to explain that on the first infraction an employee gets a note in their file. Then, on the second infraction, they are put on probationary period for a certain amount of time, and if they break another rule during that time period, their employment will be terminated.
4. Paid Time Off Policies
If you decide to offer your employees paid time off, consider noting that in the employee handbook. For instance, if employees earn a certain amount of paid time off for every year of service, you should explain that in the handbook. You can also list any holidays that employees get to take off and whether or not you pay for these days.
5. Resolution Procedures
If an employee has an issue with another employee, a manager, or even with the owner of the company, you may want to detail the complaint procedure. Who should they approach? Is there a way to share their concern anonymously? Answer questions like that. Then, let them know what you do with these complaints. For instance, you may have a meeting with your managers or your board of directors to decide how to rectify the situation. By including this type of policy, you let your employees know that you care about their opinions and that you want them to have a positive experience with your company.
6. Social Media Policy
The number of social media users in India is growing quickly. As of 2018, approximately 226 million people use social media, and that number is expected to climb roughly 64% to 371 million by 2022. To stay ahead of the game, consider including a social media policy in your employee handbook. Let employees know what they can and can’t post about your company on social media, and explain whether or not they’re allowed to check their accounts at work.
7. Details About Your Company
Don’t just focus on rules and policies; consider using your handbook as a tool for explaining your business to your employees. Include information about your company’s mission and its culture. These types of details help to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The employee handbook is a powerful tool. To ensure it reflects your current standards, update it regularly. You may even want to have training sessions to go over its contents.