This is one of your biggest mistakes as a business owner.
Small companies may feel as though they are small enough to skip by adopting and creating a company handbook. Nomatter how small a company is, there is no way to expect each employee to remember and recall policies without a written document describing these. Not only will it lead to increased employee satisfaction but, it will also outline expectations, limit liability, and define employment status.
If companies don’t have a company handbook, there is no proof of acknowledgement of policies/procedures. By having a company handbook, it will outline employee rules and regulations so there is no room for misunderstandings/misconceptions. This will allow employers to outline boundaries allowing them to align themselves appropriately. Ultimately, it is a blueprint as to how the company is to operate and sets the standard.
A company handbook will provide legal protection and can save your business thousands of dollars. By listing out all policies/procedures, it defends a business from lawsuits. Oftentimes, employment related lawsuits are due to a lack of notice of company policies. Additionally, adopting a handbook ensures your business complies with federal and state laws.
The handbook will allow you to properly list an ‘at-will disclaimer’. An at-will disclaimer will explain that employment can be terminated by either party at any time. It is key to state that there is no contractual relationship between employee and employer. Without this disclaimer, employees could succeed in breach of contract claims based on the content (or lack thereof) in a company handbook.
It would be in your best interest to consult with a professional when creating your company handbook. There is not a one size fits all approach to a company handbook, it is crucial to work with an HR professional or attorney that can work within your industry and in your state to maintain compliance.
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