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Is an employee handbook important?

When you create an employee manual, there are a number of things you should include. Having the right policies can make a difference in how smoothly your business runs and how relationships develop in the workplace.

Even if you only have a small number of workers, an employee handbook does make a difference. It outlines what you expect and what your employee can expect. Approximately 87 percent of businesses with between 10 and 200 employees have employee handbooks, and it's time to make yours, too.

What should you include in an employee handbook?

A few things that you should include immediately are:

  • An equal employment opportunity statement
  • An at-will employment clause
  • A conflict of interest statement
  • A confidentiality agreement
  • Details about the office, team and important contact information

Each of these are important parts of any employee handbook, since they are basic information about laws and also contain clauses that protect you as an employer.

You may also want to include a standard of conduct section, which will have information on the expected dress code, anti-harassment and discrimination policies, disciplinary action information and your substance-free workplace policy.

At a minimum, these are the things that need to be included in your employee handbook. It's a good idea to talk to an attorney before you draw up a handbook, since getting it right is an important way to protect yourself as an employer. Your handbook should cover all vital information about your business and what you expect from your employees, so there is no question about your business relationship in the future.

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