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How to Create an Employee Manual

Large corporations use employee manuals to both educate employees about policies and protect themselves legally. Whether or not you need an employee manual is your decision, though it can be a great tool for keeping your policies consistent.

Make sure you have your employee manual reviewed by a lawyer to make sure it is compliant with local and federal laws. Some employers also require employees to sign a document stating that they have read and understand the policies in the guide.

The following is a sample outline that you can use as a guideline for your manual:

1.Welcome & Introduction

2.Purpose of Handbook

3.Company Mission Statement

4.Company History

5.Employee Responsibilities & Code of Conduct

6.Discipline Procedures

7.Attendance and Punctuality

8.Time Cards

9.Work Hours, Breaks & Lunch Breaks

10.Overtime Policy

11.Payday

12.Payroll Deductions

13.Performance Reviews and Wage Increases

14.Promotions

15.Resignation and Termination

16.Telephone Usage

17.Benefits Overview

a.Medical

b.Dental

c.Vision

d.Employee Assistance Program

e.Vacation

f.Sick Time

g.Tuition Reimbursement

h.Life Insurance

i.Disability Benefits

j.Employee Discount

k.Employee Referral Bonus

l.Years of Service Awards

18.Leave of Absence

a.Sick

b.Family Leave

c.Funeral

d.Disability

e.Jury Duty

f.Military

g.Maternity

h.Unpaid Leave

19.Emergency Procedures

20.Summary and Acknowledgement

Keep your employee manual current by reviewing the contents and updating it often. You may want to provide each employee with a copy as part of your hiring process. You can protect your business as well as your employees by outlining clear policies and addressing questions early.

Stephanie Chandler is the author of "The Business Startup Checklist and Planning Guide: Seize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams!" and the founder of http://www.BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of free resources for entrepreneurs. Sign up for the BusinessInfoGuide newsletter to receive hot resources and tips every month.

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