Employee Manuals

Why Your Business Needs An Up-to-Date Employee Policy Manual

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5 Benefits from Establishing a Current Manual

No business, large or small, should be without an up-to-date Employee Policy Manual.  It is the best insurance policy you can have in order to legally protect your organization against any non-compliance HR issues and discriminating situations. For example, an at-will policy can provide a valuable defense against employee claims of breach of contract.

The Manual should be provided to new employees upon hiring and should be distributed to all employees when revisions are made.  It is a document that should be signed by all employees that they have read and understand the contents of the manual.  Following this protocol, you will be able to prove that all employees were aware of the rules if an employee later decides to challenge you in court.

Government law requires a policy manual.

Companies are required to have written policies for such important issues as workplace harassment, discrimination, hiring, terminating, and workplace safety.  Many states have laws and labor codes pertaining to companies with just one employee. This is also true of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  In Pennsylvania, employees are hired “at will;” however, if that terminology is not clearly defined in the Manual, a number of problems can arise that can take a company into an unwelcome legal field.

Employees need to know the work expectations.

A written Employee Policy Manual provides a baseline for governing and a system to measure the quality of the employee’s work.  With this manual, employees can read what is expected of them and what they can expect of you.  Employees need to know what work standards the Company has, what disciplinary policies are followed, and how performance evaluations are performed. All company policies that pertain to working conditions, work hours, payroll procedures and employee benefits are spelled out in the manual.

A manual creates an equal playing field.

The Employee Policy Manual lets you inform your employees about your workplace rules in an efficient, uniform way.  Employees want to know that they are being treated fairly and that everyone is following the same set of rules.  Establishing clearly defined policies assists management and employees with creating a consistent set of rules that everyone is aware.  Conflicts can be avoided if procedures, policies and expectations are put in writing.  Handling everyone on an equal basis makes for a more comfortable work environment

Employees are more productive with clearly established goals.

Knowing of any incentive plans, benefits packages, or recognition opportunities from the beginning of the work experience allows employees to strive for success.  Employees are able to work towards goals if these goals are clearly defined and do not change on a whim or due to personal subjectivity.  It is a place to list benefits, including how to earn them.

A manual adds value to your business.

Having policies and procedures documented in writing is a way to add value to the monetary worth of your business.  Defining operational systems in a written format allows you to replicate the procedures and policies on a consistent basis. If you were to sell your business, verifying that your business is operating according to legal standards and that the HR procedures are clearly established will make your business more attractive to the buyer.


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