By: Larry Fish, President
Would you like to improve overall employee communications and at the same time hold your employees accountable for their behavior? Would you like your managers and supervisors to be more consistent and impartial in their dealings with employees? Would you like to get more return on investment from your employee benefits programs? How about reducing your exposure to employee claims and lawsuits? If you would like to see any or all of these objectives accomplished in your landscape company, you need to know more about the benefits of a well-constructed employee handbook, which becomes your ready to use employee communications vehicle.
An employee handbook gives employees guidelines and summary information about your company’s personnel policies, procedures, benefits and rules of conduct. Properly written, it can be one of the most effective ways of communicating with your employees.
Here are some reasons for landscape companies of all sizes to have one – – –
Improved morale and productivity
Studies show that morale and productivity are highest when employees know what is expected of them and, in turn, what they can expect from the company. A carefully written employee handbook communicates your expectations in a clear and comprehensive way, using language (translated in English and Spanish) that is easy for employees to read and understand. Once employees know what your expectations are, then they can be held accountable for their behavior. Simply stated, people truly want to understand the ground rules of the company they work.
Consistent application of company policy
Bringing company policies relating to employment, personnel status, compensation, training and development, and safety together in an employee handbook can eliminate much of the misunderstanding that occurs between employees and management. Everybody in the company would now have the same reference point for answering questions and interpreting company policy. It also promotes the consistent and uniform application of company policy by managers and supervisors.
A cost-effective employee benefit
Employee benefits experts consider the employee handbook to be one of the most important and cost-effective benefits an employer can provide its employees. Having an employee handbook makes it easier to attract and retain good employees, because good employees want to work for companies that are committed to maintaining a positive employee relations climate. In addition, the employee handbook plays an important role in communicating to your employees about all of the benefits provided to them such as health and welfare, time off with pay, government mandated benefits, etc.
As the cost of employee benefit plans continues to increase, it becomes increasingly important for employees to have complete and accurate information about them. When employee benefit programs are misunderstood and underutilized by employees, it is usually because of miscommunication or a complete lack of communication.
Reduced exposure to employee claims and lawsuits
One of the most important benefits you as an employer can realize from an employee handbook is the protection it provides from employee claims and lawsuits. Most of the media attention surrounding employee claims and lawsuits these days focuses on the multi-million dollar awards assessed against major employers. In truth, more than 90% of all wrongful termination, discrimination, wage and hour, and sexual harassment complaints are filed against employers with fewer than 150 employees. The reason for this is smaller employers tend to be more arbitrary in their employment decisions than large companies and are not as well organized in managing their workforce. For those employers who have gone through the process of being sued, most all acknowledge afterwards the importance of establishing employment policies and applying them consistently. Sometimes having that extra bit of documentation will save employers months of hassles.
It’s good business
Good customers want to do business with companies who have their act together, especially in regards to those business development, sales, production, and operations employees who are entrusted to serve and interact with them. Self-motivated employees who portray consistent delight with and confidence in their employer best provide great customer service. It all starts at “home” by communicating what is expected of your employees.
If you have an employee handbook, good for you; however, if you have not had it looked over in a while or you are experiencing more than your fair share of employee issues, you may wish to contract for some independent counsel. If you do not have an employee handbook, read this article once again and do something about it today!!
Does your organization need assistance with developing effective employee communications? Give us a call at 1-888-375-7787 to discuss your needs.
Disclaimer: This article nor any portion of its content may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of GreenSearch®