There is a commotion in the outer office!
Employee Sue is banging things around on her desk and is muttering over and over again “that’s not fair, that just isn’t fair”! Sue‘s voice gets a little louder and she is heard to say “I work just as hard, harder even then Amy.” “Well we will just see about this, I am not taking this anymore”
Employee Sue then storms into Co-Owner George’s office. George looks up from his computer screen where he has been working on a marketing presentation. There is steam coming out of Sue’s ears! She starts yelling about being treated unfairly and that she is a better worker than Amy.
George finally gets Sue to calm down enough to get the information on what she is upset about. Sue’s complaint is that her co-worker Amy was paid for the two days she was out last month with a sick child and Sue was not paid for the one day she was out last week.
“Hmmm” George says, “I do not think Amy was supposed to be paid for those days. We pay 5 sick days a year and as far as I know Amy has used up all her paid days off this year.” George then tells Sue he will check things out and get back to her by the end of the day. Sue says Ok and shuffles back to her desk, less agitated but still very much put out.
George goes to Co-Owner Agnes’ office and tells her what has happened. Together they figure out that the payroll for the week Amy got paid the extra sick days was processed by Agnes as George was out-of-town that week. Agnes said, “I thought we paid our employees 8 sick days a year”. George said “no, we only pay 5 a year”.
They decide that to keep the peace they will need to pay Sue for the day she was out, and let her have one extra paid sick day as well.
How could this situation have been avoided?
Answer: By having a detailed written policy distributed to the employees that details what paid days off they are entitled to and when and how those days are earned and redeemed.
What is the best way to present this new policy?
Answer: By incorporating it into an Employee Handbook for your Business!
What is an Employee Handbook?
*An Employee Handbook is a living document that formalizes your company’s Employee-Employer relationship. It is used to familiarize employees with important information about the Company, as well as provide a general outline of the Company’s expectations, policies, benefits, and employment procedures.
Why Have an Employee Handbook?
*An Employee Handbook keeps all your policies in one place and in writing so they can be applied consistently to all employees. This helps minimize employees feeling like they have been treated unfairly.
*An Employee Handbook includes clearly articulated Non-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Anti-Bullying, and Non-Violence, policies. The posting of such policies goes a long way in establishing “Due Diligence” in the event your handling of such matters is called into question.
*An Employee Handbook puts the employers expectations in writing for the employee. This makes it much easier to address infractions effectively. Employees will not be able to say they did not know such & such was against company policy.
What should an Employee Handbook contain?
*An Employee Handbook is a great place to showcase and consolidate your company’s Mission Statement, Goals, and History. It shows your pride in the company and invites employees to be a part of the team and share in the pride.
*An Employee Handbook should include contact information for the Company, the Company’s Dress Code, the Professional Standards observed, and a listing of who in the company is the” go to” person for what functions.
*Notices with regard to Equal Opportunity, Anti-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Violence in the Work Place, Drug & Alcohol Policy, as well as your policies on smoking, internet use, personal call, friends visiting and pets in the workplace are all good things to incorporate in an Employee Handbook.
*An Employee Handbook is also the place where information on available Employee Benefits, Vacation Policy, paid Holidays, Other paid time off, Medical Leave, Military Leave, Bereavement Leave, Maternity leave, and pay while on Jury Duty is usually housed.
Your Employee Handbook, is also a great place to list the general duties and expectations for your employees; Confidentiality and Information Security expectations; Safety Guideline and Emergency procedures; your Disciplinary and Terminations Policies; as well as your Company Time Keeping, and Payroll Procedures.
Who Should Have an Employee Handbook?
*Any Company with three or more employees can benefit from an Employee Handbook. An Employee Handbook is usable in all types of businesses be it an auto repair shop, boutique clothing vendor, financial services provider, or high-tech firm with off-site workers. If you have employees, an Employee Handbook is a mechanism that is essential to keep your company running smoothly and profitably.
When is a good time to introduce a new or updated Employee Handbook?
*The beginning of a calendar or fiscal year
*When there is a major change in Management or Organizational structure
*Before Open Enrollment for Benefits
*Moving operations to a new site
*Acquiring a new company or division
*Whenever there is concern around the clarity of employment policies and procedures.