Most employers have established employment policies, either in writing or through practice, that attempt to define the relationship between the employer and employees. Employers may circulate memos as the need arises or even establish policies by word of mouth. Many employers, however, fail to compile these policies once they are issued, and many more fail to review them as often as they should, especially in light of the constant changes in employment and labor relations law.
A well-prepared handbook lets employees know what to expect from you and what you expect from them. The result should be a positive work atmosphere and a more productive work force. A well-prepared handbook also serves as a point of reference for supervisors, promoting uniform and fair treatment of all employees. A well-drafted handbook can be a strong defense to a wrongful discharge or harassment suit with a potentially significant judgment.
Finally, an employee handbook is an opportunity to explain the benefits your company provides for its employees. The result should be improved employee morale and increased employee loyalty.
Excerpted from the Michigan Chamber’s Guide for Employee Handbook Policies authored by attorneys from Foster, Swift, Collins and Smith law firm.