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I Didn’t Know I Couldn’t Do That! Why You Need An Employee Manual/handbook

altI know that a lot of small business owners think that they don't need an employee handbook. I know what you're thinking: "I have six employees! I can just tell them what they need to know!"  But, you really should consider having an employee handbook. Here are several important reasons why:

·         Employee Handbooks Help Define Rules. Employee handbooks basically cover all of the rules of a business. From employee absences and tardies, to appearance, uniforms or vacation time, an Employee Handbook can lay out the basic rules of your company. This way, you have your standards in writing. Your employees will be less likely to break the rules when they have a clear definition of them. (One that they have signed!)

·         An Employee Handbook Can Help You Legally .No one wants to think about this, but it should be covered. If you ever end up in court, an employee can not say that they did not have a clue about company policies or procedures if they were given an employee handbook, and signed saying they understood the rules and procedures that would be followed. In my opinion, it is better to cover your bases in the beginning, then try to defend yourself later.

·         Employee Handbooks Keep Everyone On The Same Page. If you have a clear set of rules in place, you will not have to deal with "well, she does that all the time and it's okay!" What the book says goes. Employee handbooks can help deter preferential treatment and make sure that all employees are treated equally.

·         An Employee Handbook Can Help Keep You Sane. Okay, not really,but it was a nice thought, wasn't it? Having an employee handbook can keep you from answering the same question a thousand times. ("What are our holiday hours? How many times can I be late before I get a write up?", Etc.) If you have a handbook, you can simply refer your employees to it when they have a question.

·         Employee Handbooks Can Include Information You Are Required To Give Anyway. This includes information on Family Leave, COBRA, sexual harassment, etc. If you have a handbook, you can just include this required information in it, and get it out of the way.


These are just a few of the important reasons why you should have an employee handbook. They are relatively simple and easy to create, so you should really think about having one for your small business!

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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