If you spell out clearly what is expected from your staff then your organisation runs more efficiently in the way that you need. It helps to ensure fairness and consistency and supports your disciplinary procedures.
It should also mean that dealing with misunderstandings or the occasional problem becomes more straight-forward when you can point to a handbook that each of your employees has received that is clear on the policies and procedures of the organisation.
Typically, your handbook might cover issues such as:
- Attendance – what happens when someone takes unauthorised time off?
- Sickness absence rules – what should you pay? When does an employee need a fit note?
- Maternity, paternity, adoptive & parental rights – What are the employee’s rights?
- Additional leave policy – do you need to give time off for emergencies? How about jury service?
- Grievance procedure – what are the rules?
- Disciplinary procedure – if you need to dismiss or discipline what is a fair procedure?
- Communication policy – what do you do if one of your staff is sending “dodgy” emails
- Relocation policy – How flexible do your staff have to be?
- Smoking policy – what arrangements do you need to make?
- Security policy & rules – can you search if necessary?
- Emergency procedures – Do your staff know what to do if there is a fire or other incident?
- Equal Opportunities & Harassment policy
- Retirement policy – How long can your employees carry on working?
- Computer Security policy – how do you protect your valuable data?
- Drink and drugs – What should you do if someone turns up under the influence?
All common enough issues but what should your staff expect from you in these circumstances? Set your rules out clearly in a staff handbook and it makes it much easier for you, as the employer, to deal with those situations.