The Empowering Employee Handbook
Employers should consider the attitude their employee handbooks present and what it says about company culture. This is particularly true for start-ups and those who hire professional employees. Handbooks are a pivotal piece of successful risk management, but many employers avoid using them because of bad experiences from their personal past. While we wholly empathize with that position, we also know poor or missing employee handbooks lead to companies paying unnecessary legal fees. It is paramount that employers have a handbook for their employees, but those policy books do not need to be oppressive documents.
Employers with professional employees find it very valuable to educate employees regarding the reason a company has a certain policy. This is true because, while your employees may be professionals, chances are they do not understand every angle of every lawsuit from every workplace. If employees understand the motivation behind certain rules, it helps them apply the rule to their actions rather than feeling irritated with the rule.
The explanations do not need to be elaborate, just enabling. For example, if you have a rule about wearing safety shoes, you may have a line in the relevant portion of your rulebook that says, “OSHA is a government agency that has regulatory authority over this workplace, and their studies have led to a rule that employees in workplaces such as ours must wear safety shoes at all times.” Many professional caliber employees will understand that a company like yours is subject to OSHA’s rules and that you are likely not going to be able to change the rule to accommodate flip-flops in your employer’s warehouse.
The Lynch Law Firm's credentialed HR professionals and employment attorneys can help you develop sound employee handbooks that get you what you need to protect your business. Call us today!