Employee Handbooks – Don’t Give Anything Away
Employee handbooks are probably the largest mind-shifting event for all business owners. Most feel like if they do not have all of their rules, procedures, policies, and disclaimers in a document that they give to their employees that they are not running their business correctly. In fact, a larger document can spell trouble. A document that nobody would ever read is more likely to be thrown out completely by a court and all of the hard work can be for nothing.
Employee handbooks should be lean and tailored very specifically to benefit the employer. Things that are promised or given to the employee should be removed from the handbook as often as possible. The last thing we want is for an employee to view the handbook as a contract. Employers want to be able to change any part of their business, including how they treat employees, with the drop of a hat and for no reason at all.
Probationary periods should be avoided at all costs. This is because having a probationary period suggests that after the probationary period the employee is somehow more secure in his job than during the probationary period. It infers that if an employee makes it past the probationary period that they are entitled to at least a certain amount of time as an employee.
Bottom line is that handbooks should be reviewed regularly with the employer’s best interests in mind and with an eye towards limiting language in the document.