Here are five reasons why employers should consider adopting an Employee Handbook, if they have not already done so:
- Creating a Workplace Culture: Employee Handbooks can play a role in defining the culture of the workplace. For example, a Handbook can reinforce themes of openness, innovation, or respect in the workplace.
- Setting Expectations: Employee Handbooks can help set expectations for employees about what rules apply to their employment, how the employment relationship works, and how to address situations that may arise in the workplace.
- Establishing Procedures: Employee Handbooks can codify procedures that an employer and its employees can use. For example, the Handbook can explain how to update an employee’s personnel information, how to utilize employee benefits, or how to notify the Company of inappropriate workplace behavior.
- Supporting Terminations: In the event that an employee challenges the basis for his or her termination, a list of workplace rules in an Employee Handbook can be useful in justifying the termination.
- Creating Legal Defenses: In some cases, an Employee Handbook can create a legal defense for an employer. For example, if the Handbook defines employment as at-will, creates a procedure for reporting discrimination or harassment, or clearly notifies an employee not to expect privacy in his or her emails, these policies can be used to help defend an employer in subsequent litigation. For language condensing these three key policies into haiku format, click here.