When you first started your business you were likely the only employee, and were focused on doing the work necessary to get and keep satisfied customers and to grow your business. As your business did start to grow, you probably needed help and hired people to fill your gaps on a full or part time basis. With only a couple of employees, it was easy to keep things such as sick time, vacations, and workplace conduct informally regulated. However, there comes a point where even in the most friendly, family-oriented work environment, things need to be put in writing—even if only to be sure that everyone is on the same page regarding expectations and consequences. No worries, we here at PaySimple are here to help with some useful tips.
The best way to do this is with an Employee Handbook. It can be as simple as a one-sheet set of rules that outline what you expect of your employees in terms of their work practices, office behavior, and treatment of customers and the consequences for non-adherence. The Business Owners Tool Kit provides a sample work rules sheet that you can download here. (You’ll need to provide an email address to register and download the form.) For an overview of what to consider when creating these rules, read their General Work Rules overview.
When your company is large enough, a good number is 10 employees, it is probably time to create an official Employee Handbook that covers all aspects of the employment relationship. It should state your expectations for your employees, and outline what they can expect from your company. It should also describe your legal obligations as an employer, and your employees’ rights. However, to protect your rights you should make sure that it clearly states that the Handbook IS NOT intended to be an employment contract. You should also be sure to have it reviewed by your lawyer.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a comprehensive overview of what to include in an Employee Handbook, as well as a handbook template that you can download for free. For even more detail on each section of an Employee Handbook, read The Small Business Toolkit Handbook Guide. It provides detailed descriptions of each handbook component and sample templates, as well as call out boxes for potential problem areas and how you can avoid them.
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