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Why have an employee handbook?

You had an amazing idea for a business. It turned out to be quite profitable. Your business is growing. You need to hire more employees to keep up with the demand. There is only one problem. Your current employees have an ongoing conflict that is creating a negative work environment.

You can correct this simply, professionally, and positively before bringing on new employees. You can create an employee handbook.

A well-drafted and thorough employee handbook is a communication tool between an employer and current and future employees. It is essential for the success of any business employer. It clearly establishes the expectations that you have for your employees and it communicates to them what they can expect from you.

It should be clear, concise and cover all your company policies. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, this includes:

  • Standards of Conduct
  • Termination policies
  • Disciplinary guidelines
  • Anti-Discrimination Policies
  • Work Schedules
  • General Employment Information
  • Compensation
  • Employee Benefits
  • Leave Policies
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and Conflict of Interest Statements
  • Safety and Security

Having all the policies laid out removes all guess work. When employees know what is expected of them, they know exactly how they must behave. This, in turn, creates a more productive environment. Additionally, it also helps protects employers from potential litigation. Once the handbook has been written, it's important to update it regularly, particularly if there are any changes in the law.

If it's your first time drafting an employee handbook, or if you have one that is not working for you, you may have questions. Speaking with an employment lawyer with experience in drafting and updating employment handbooks may help.

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Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

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