CMTC Manufacturing Blog

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Yes, You DO Need an Employee Handbook

Posted by Ellen McKewen

As a company that takes pride in optimizing the way manufacturers do business across our beautiful state, we also understand the importance of the workforce that makes it all possible. Every employee deserves the right to fair, compliant and peaceful workplace and to help keep everybody in check, employee handbooks serve as the guide to ensuring a positive work environment. Having a road map that details all the need-to-know policies is beneficial to both you (the employer) and your team.

Creating an employee handbook is essential to keeping your staff informed on internal procedures, state laws and federal policies.

Why Employee Handbooks?

Today’s work environment presents many challenges, questions and concerns to both employers and employees. With California being such a litigious state, companies and employees consistently benefit from having a documented road map for business and employment success. Developing and implementing an employee handbook helps achieve business goals and objectives while highlighting everything your company has to offer.

Beyond employee handbooks, there are several state and federal laws/guidelines that MUST be posted around the office. Posters such as the Job Safety & Health, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Anti-Discrimination and several others are available online to be purchased and placed visibly in the workplace.

What Goes In It?

When creating a handbook, it’s crucial to include everything you would like to know if YOU were an employee. When you start work at a new company, you want to understand the company culture, what’s frowned upon, what’s encouraged and all of the details that would make you more of an asset rather than a liability.

After reviewing state and federal laws, focus on the internal culture that makes your company unique. Day-to-day policies, expectations of conduct, work schedules, vacation and holiday info, benefits and computer policies should all have a section dedicated in your handbook.

Be sure to include the company specifics that make your team stand out from your competitors. Nothing makes an employee feel more welcome than reading through a handbook that establishes the individuality of the company.

Need Pointers? Read These Tips.

Disregard size. Don’t shy away from creating an employee handbook because the size of your company is so small. Whether a company has 12,000 or 12 workers, it’s important to establish a baseline of your firm’s culture.

Learn how you and your staff can benefit from an employee handbook with these pointers.Use a writing style that reflects your environment. How many times have you thumbed through a lengthy, technically-written handbook that didn’t match the company? It’s misleading and doesn’t represent the culture accurately. Use language that your employees will understand and one that resonates with them.

Create a plan to distribute your new handbook. Gauge your team's needs and concerns to develop a full-fledged book that addresses anything they may have questions or doubts about. It’s also important to create a positive environment during the roll-out phase to get your staff ready and willing to review your new creation.

Add an acknowledgement page that serves as proof of their compliance with the guidelines. Collect their signatures and file these pages within your HR department.

Update and Repeat. Laws and policies change every year. When new laws come into play, make sure your employee handbook is up-to-date and covers all of the new additions that the state or federal government may have created.

Writing, distributing and reviewing your employee handbook will give you a better sense of your company from the perspective of your staff. As today’s work environment may be tricky to navigate, one way to stay ahead of the curve is to be transparent with your team with an all-inclusive employee handbook.

For more information on federal guidelines and policies, visit the NLRB website and/or the Department of Labor.

For more information on how CMTC can help you create an Employee Handbook, contact Jeri Summer at jsummer@cmtc.com.

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Topics: Lean Manufacturing, Continuous Improvement, Business Management, Human Resources

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