Employee Policy Manual
What to Look for and What Goes in It!

employee policy manual

Operating a business without an employee policy manual is much like driving a car without automobile insurance. If you don’t have an accident there is no need for insurance; however, if you do…

Because human beings are very unpredictable in everything from how someone understands something to how they act when faced with certain situations. In addition, everyone comes with some sort of baggage. This may be anything from whether or not they were not held accountable for being tardy at their last job to how they were raised to treat people of a different race or color growing up.

Any of these factors, plus countless others, if left unchecked will end in a disaster for your workplace. State and Federal government agencies, like EEOC, don’t except ignorance as an excuse! They don’t care if you have been in business one day or two hundred years!

employee policy manual

The Employee Policy Manual Should Spell Out Your Polices So There's No Misunderstandings

That’s why it is so important to have an employee policy manual that spells out you’re policies. I have always thought of an employee policy manual as a speed limit sign for the workplace. A speed limit sign doesn’t necessarily keep someone from speeding it just makes it clear that when they do they understand that they broke the law and shouldn’t be surprised when they are issued a speeding ticket.

That is exactly what the purpose of the policy manual does. It explains things like how the company treats tardiness, absenteeism, sexual harassment, vacation leave, sick leave, and many other issues you deal with on a daily basis at your workplace.

The problem is how, does someone that isn’t an expert in human resources or employment law produce an employee policy manual without hiring a team of lawyers or paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars on some type of software to assist them.

In my life I have always lived quite successfully by a simple principle known to many as the KISS system! KISS simply stands for Keep It Simply Silly (or some might say Stupid). The simpler it stays the better the chance of repeating the process is. So in the case of building an employee policy manual if you want to complicate the process and build a final document that requires a team of lawyers to explain then by all means take that route. The additional problem is that you may not even be able to explain your own company’s position if challenged by an outside legal authority, which then will require you to retain legal help for that as well.

Remember the KISS System!

If you follow this approach and produce a policy manual written in a way that anyone can understand yet gets the point across then why not take that route? Instead some decide to build a bigger mouse trap because they think bigger is better with many more moving parts that require constant maintenance and repairs all adding additional expenses to your overhead. If you have the money and time, go for it!

On the other hand if you choose to use the KISS system and keep it simple your initial expense is much less and maintaining the document will be less also. Of course that will only work if following the KISS system is effective!

If you can afford to retain a law firm to develop and maintain your employee policy manual my guess is that you would not be reading this article! On the other hand if you are looking for an affordable easy way to produce a policy manual then I believe you are going to be very pleased to see what we have developed specifically for the small business owner. Of course it is for any size business but the bigger the business the more likely they will throw money at finding a solution than using their good business sense.

Sample Employee Policy Manual on Attendance

This Company fully understands and recognizes the value of providing quality service to its customers. To ensure that quality, every associate is required and expected to be at work when scheduled.

When an associate is planning to be absent from any portion of a scheduled work day other than for previously scheduled vacation, that associate must notify their Supervisor no less than three (3) days prior to the absence. We also understand that there are unexpected circumstances (emergencies such as a death in the family) that may prohibit your ability to meet this requirement and in those cases it is critical that you present your request at the very earliest opportunity.

When an associate is unexpectedly unable to report to work, or is going to be late, that associate must contact their supervisor no later than two hours prior to the time that the associate is scheduled to be at work.

Failure to notify your supervisor of such absence may result in disciplinary action.

When an associate experiences unscheduled absences on consecutive days, that associate must contact their supervisor each day. Failure to notify your supervisor may result in disciplinary action. Failure to notify your supervisor for three (3) consecutive workdays will be considered your voluntary resignation. Written medical verification authorizing you to return to work will be required of any associate that exceeds an unscheduled absence for two (2) consecutive workdays.

Tardiness will not be tolerated. There is no grace period. Excessive tardiness may result in disciplinary action being taken. An associate will not be paid for the time he or she is tardy to work.

Absences for a death in the associate's immediate family (spouse, child, parent or grandparent), illness with a doctor's excuse or verifiable auto accident may be deemed "excused" absences by the Company for which no disciplinary action will be taken.

Sample Employee Policy Manual on Sexual Harassment

Our Company is committed to insuring a safe workplace in which all individuals are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. Our Company promotes equal opportunities for every employee that is free from any discriminatory practices, which includes sexual harassment. Any form of sexual harassment as defined below, regardless of verbal or physical, is prohibited. Under the law sexual harassment is considered illegal and will not be tolerated.

As it relates to our policy the definition of sexual harassment is any unwelcome advances of a sexual nature or requests for sexual favors. The sexual advances, physical conduct, or action can be verbal or non-verbal. It becomes illegal when submission to or rejection of this sexual conduct is used for explicitly or implicitly as a factor in employment decisions, performance reviews, advancements, training opportunities, etc. If this sexual conduct substantially interferes with a person’s employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment it is also considered illegal.

Sample Employee Policy Manual on Conduct

Every individual is expected to execute their assigned duties as directed during on duty time. It is also critical to our success that every individual will respect and cooperate with other staff members and customers to perform their assigned duties. In the event there is ever a conflict it is the responsibility of everyone to bring that to the attention of their supervisor for resolution and will not engage with any other individual. It is also important to understand that excessive talking and/or horseplay can distract and place individual’s safety or dignity at risk, as well as, decrease productivity. All individuals are to remain in their assigned work area during duty time. The above policy is for the safety and welfare of all employees and violations will not be tolerated.

Thank You and May God Bless You

Code of Conduct Policy