8 Reasons Your Small Business Should Have an Employee Handbook

Why Do I Need an Employee Handbook?

Oxnard Small Business Attorney

There are a lot of benefits your Oxnard or Ventura small business can achieve from creating and using a well-written, thoughtful employee handbook.

Here are some of the major reasons your family-run small business in Oxnard or Ventura should have an employee handbook:

  1. Communicate your small business's culture, mission and core values with your employees.
  2. Establish common understanding and expectations regarding your standards and what you expect from your employees.
  3. Teach your employees about what they can expect from you, your management and your leadership team
  4. Help ensure your small business policies are clearly and consistently communicated
  5. Showcase employee benefits your company offers
  6. Help meet federal and state compliance obligations by including mandatory notices
  7. Reduce the risk of employee lawsuits and claims
  8. Provide employees information on where to turn for assistance

Employee handbooks can improve employee morale, prevent disagreements and even keep the company out of court. 

An Employee Handbook can shift the onus for complying with government workplace, safety and other regulations to employees by putting them on notice of these responsibilities. In some states, courts may consider an employee handbook to be a binding contract, even if the employment relationship is at-will.

If an employee has a dispute with his/her employer or gets a bad performance review, they may try to use the employee handbook as leverage or to prove some deficiency on the employer’s part.  

A clear, well-written, handbook can protect an employer by establishing a structure so when issues arise, neither the employee nor the employer will be surprised by the outcome.

There are also practical business reasons to have an Employee Handbook. Employees can no longer excuse inappropriate conduct harmful to your company by claiming ignorance.  Supervisors also become more effective because disciplinary decisions can be made based on the handbook policies, which establishes a system of fairness and consistency throughout the organization.

Ultimately, you want employees to feel comfortable knowing that if they turn to management for help, that their legitimate concerns will be addressed; whether they want to report workplace violations; get workplace-related assistance; or just get answers to work related questions they may have.  

By establishing a fair and impartial procedure for dealing with employee issues, including a secondary review process, employees are more likely to keep their complaints in-house, and this is a good thing for employers.

Get in touch with me if you want to discuss how easy it is to create a well-written employee handbook for your small business.