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Are you on the fence about an employee handbook? Read on

You are probably like other business owners here in Huntington Beach who don’t like to do paperwork. The less time you spend creating documents or filling out paperwork, the better off you will be. When you began your business, you tried your best to take care of as much of it as possible, especially those documents that you knew you only had to do once.

After some time of running the business alone and having family members help out, you came to the realization that you need to hire at least one employee. While this means that your business is growing and that you are making it a success, it also means more paperwork. Job applications, resumes and government forms are about all you want to handle.

What about an employee handbook?

Perhaps you heard that you need an employee handbook, but you really aren’t sure you want to undertake this particular project. Perhaps the information below will help you decide that you need one:

  • Even one employee can cause you legal problems. Without a clear understanding of what you expect of him or her, if you need to fire that employee, you could face litigation.
  • An employee handbook puts all employees on equal footing. For instance, if everyone knows that each employee gets the same amount of vacation and sick days — or accrues them at the same rate — no one can claim unfair treatment.
  • Everyone knows the rules and the consequences of breaking them.
  • It serves as a piece of evidence if an employee files a claim alleging discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

While it’s true that you can’t account for every situation, you can cover many of the highlights and provide general guidelines for the rest. Simply having a handbook isn’t enough. Every employee needs a copy, and you need a written acknowledgment from all of them that they received it and read it. Everyone needs the opportunity to ask questions, and you may need to revise it occasionally.

This probably isn’t what you wanted to read considering your aversion to paperwork, but it will ultimately serve you to have one. Your employees also receive assurance that you are fair and take their need for a safe, fair and hostility-free workplace seriously. Even if you never need to produce it in court because an employee filed a lawsuit against your company, you may sleep easier knowing that you have some protection when an employee has an issue.