Employee Handbooks and All That
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Employee Handbooks for reading pleasure? 😵
I was asked to help write an employee handbook for Schulte and Schulte recently. And I yawned. Like, you know.
Employee handbook = boredom induced coma.
In that regard, it was in some ways an easy task. A lot of “copy and paste” was involved. It was a very difficult task in other ways. What must be included and what is optional?
Therefore, there need be only three rules it seemed to me. My (tongue in cheek) suggestion:
Don’t be an asshole
Dress appropriately for the occasion
Give back any digital or electronic devises provided to you for company business when you leave.
Who could ask for anything more? 😜
Tonya was correct when she laughed, I suppose. She then pointed out my first rule may need to be better defined. For example, I needed to include information about confidentiality and data protection.
Also, I wasn’t allowed to inject my “voice” in the document. That would have meant (at the very least) I would have made fun of some of the legal sounding terms which were included. See what I mean? This was a difficult task.
Employee Handbooks for starters
As a result, writing an employee handbook means you need an understanding of the company and its culture. Because . . . wait for it . . . employees tend to do what they think is best. They do what they think is best according to what they THINK leaders want of them.
In other words, your initial chance to tell your employees what you want of them comes in the form of an employee handbook for your construction contracting business. Of course, it isn’t your only chance. Yet, it is a good start.
So, if you’ve gotten this far, and you’re thinking it is time to build or update your Employee Handbook, read on.
What to include in your handbook
Some of the important ideas and concepts which should be included are:
purpose and values
And, you may wish to consider using some or all of these sections:
Employment contract types
Personal and Professional Development
Equal Opportunity Employment
Confidentiality and Data Protection
Safety Requirements and Expectations
Cyber Security and Digital Devices
Conflict of Interest
Timekeeping Reporting Procedures
Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy
Witness / Jury Duty
Employee Acknowledgement and Agreement
Employee Handbooks aren’t rocket science
This article, from Workable is a good place to start if you want insight for revamping or building your own Employee Handbook. They even offer, “tips to flesh out your own employee manual matching your company’s requirements.”
However, before you begin building your employee handbook, understand this. Unless the text clearly indicates otherwise, an employee handbook can be considered a legally binding document between an employer and employees. And, in most cases, courts consider an employee handbook to be an extension of the employee contract.
So, I guess on further thought, making fun of the legalese within the employee handbook would probably not be a good idea. Unless, of course, you happen to find a judge with an overly ripe sense of humor.
Above all, I agree with Workable concerning the putting together of your Employee Handbook.
In addition, they say, “Keep in mind that our employee handbook examples and relevant advice are not legal documents and may not take into account all relevant local or national laws.”
They go on to say, “Please ask your attorney to review your finalized policy documents or Handbook.”
Similarly, I agree. Write it. Or have someone in your employ write it. Then, ask your attorney to approve or correct it. Pretty simple.
Employee Handbooks with pizzazz
In conclusion, if you would like some inspiration, you’re going to enjoy this. It is worth the time to look over a group of Employee Handbooks listed at i-Sight. They list a dozen examples which are fun, different, or have interesting takes on Employee Handbooks.
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