Before your business hires its first staff member, take some time to sit down and create a handbook. Handbooks are a great tool for new staff member to go to when they have a question regarding basic rules and regulations. Many handbooks also come with a directory of key people they may need to contact.

So what should your handbook say about your business?

Start out with what your business is about, your mission statement. Every staff member should know what your company represents and how it is reflected back to your customers.

Now think about your business policies. Are there some rules that have to be followed? What policies do you feel are important in your company? If you rent office space in a large building there may be a few rules everyone has to abide by. Here are a few items you should include:

  • Do you have a dress code? If so, does it include uniforms? Who pays for the uniform and laundering of the uniform?
  • Does your business drug screen, perform background checks and/or credit checks?
  • When does everyone get paid? Is it weekly, bi-monthly?  How will payroll be handled (direct deposit, prepaid card, check).
  • What is your policy on mobile phone use, computer equipment for personal use, smoking areas?
  • What are your policies on discipline and termination?
  • When do you perform your evaluations?
  • Make sure to also include a detailed explanation of your company benefits.  This area needs to be detailed.

Many staff members will keep this book on hand and look over it again at a later date, so it is important that if any of your policies change you issue a new handbook right away. To save paper costs, having your handbook online in a place where employees can access at work or at home.   Having a signature on file that the handbook was received and the date it was received is also a good idea.