Why Your Small Business Needs an Employment Handbook

Small businesses often fly by the seat of their pants, making decisions nimbly and hiring people as the needs present. And this typically makes sense. Small businesses should be agile, and it is usually foolish for them to be mired in process.

However, when it comes to employee management and engagement, there are many reasons why it makes sense to standardize certain processes and document best practices.

Many companies choose to do this by creating an employment handbook, to which all new hires are exposed as part of the onboarding process. It may seem like a hassle, but it is worth the effort as the payoff can be considerable.

This post will outline the reasons why your small business will benefit from taking the time to create an employment handbook.

Onboard quickly and seamlessly

One of the greatest challenges when onboarding new employees is ensuring they are up to speed on company policies and procedures. When these are summarized in a handbook, it streamlines the onboarding process considerably and ensures that all new hires consume the same information in the same manner. This helps to standardize behaviors across the organization and ensure adoption and compliance.

Protect yourself

An employee handbook serves as a protection for your small business. It clearly articulates expectations (of both employees and employers) so there is little room for misinterpretation. When it is enforced and implemented thoughtfully, an employment handbook represents corporate policies that confirm ethical conduct and consideration, especially in the event that something goes awry.

For employees, the handbook serves to define the limits of acceptable behavior. Not just within the confines of the office, but relative to customers and partners.

For employers, the handbook validates and articulates standards that the organization embraces and upholds, so there is no confusion amongst stakeholders.

Attract top talent

An employment handbook can actually serve as a recruitment resource. Being able to represent employment perks and benefits in an official document will demonstrate to future hires that your organization cares about their interests.

Highlight benefits

No doubt you offer certain benefits and perks to your employees. Whether it’s your company’s sick day or vacation policies, or RRSP matching program, there are always bound to be questions about your company’s benefits package, and having the details outlined in an employment handbook can help clear up any confusion and mitigate HR bottlenecks.

Define your corporate culture

If you are seeking to nurture a culture that engages employees, offers a fun work environment, or prioritizes learning and professional growth, an employment handbook can go a long way in setting that tone. But outlining, in print, what your organization stands for – your corporate values and employees – you have a mechanism to articulate to your workforce what matters most. The culture will almost certainly follow.

There are many reasons to formalize your employment policies, procedures and best practices into a single, written resource. If you have questions about whether or not creating an employment handbook is right for your organization, contact Miller Bernstein today.

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