There are many things to consider when starting a new company. What type of company to form, how your company will beat competitors, what type of culture you want for your company, the list goes on. One very important piece of information your company needs is a handbook.
The company handbook holds protocol, business regulations and company standards. Especially with the #metoo movement and the increase in discrimination claims, companies need to be aware of issues that could arise and have guidelines in place for handling them.
Benefits of a handbook
Being prepared for unfortunate situations can help your company manage expectations for all employees. Some benefits of a company handbook include:
- Information is equally dispersed to all employees
- Works as a reference point for employee and employer
- Helps employees understand company rules and expectations
- Explains company procedures and disciplinary action
- Informs employee about discrimination policy and procedure
The more information your handbook contains, the more equipped your company should be to handle conflict. Being able to reference company policy as explained in the handbook may help protect employers.
What should be covered?
The company handbook should be unique to your company. However, there is some basic information that all company handbooks should cover, if applicable:
- Employee pay, sick days, benefits and vacation time
- Company dress code policy
- Performance expectations
- Anti-discrimination expectations
- Termination policy/non-disclosure agreement
It is important that all employees receive, read and understand the company handbook. Make sure your employees know with whom to speak if they have questions.
Finally, be sure that your handbook complies with legal regulations. It may be beneficial to have a lawyer review the handbook before you finalize it. Remember that you may have to reference your handbook so make sure all policies are up-to-date and reflect the way your company operates.