Do small businesses need an employee handbook?

The short answer is, YES! But before we get into the details, it's worth mentioning that in the current hiring and retention environment, it's more important than ever for business owners to protect their investments. What do I mean by "investments"? I'm talking about not only your ideas, products, equipment, and shop...I'm also talking about your talented people that you've sought out, trained, and nurtured to help you make your business what it is today. The true benefit of an employee handbook also incorporates company overview, your culture, your organizational chart, and policies & procedures. And don't forget, you want it to easily be accessible for you and your employees from anywhere, anytime.

First, what is an employee handbook?

An employee handbook is a document given to employees which outlines your company's policies and expectations of behavior and performance in the workplace. While your business is not required to have an employee handbook, handbooks offer many benefits. Namely, establishing your company's policies and expectations up front minimizes the risk of a dispute later. From your employee's perspective, they will appreciate the transparency and less likely call you with questions if everything is clearly laid out and organized in the handbook.

How Alastair can help.

At Alastair, we set out to develop a handbook that is user-friendly for both employers and employees, easily accessible, and contains all important employment information to allow the business to run smoothly. To achieve this, we knew we had to focus on how we wanted all users to interact with the handbook and understand what owners and employees viewed as the most desired experience to ensure they would come back to it again and again as a helpful reference.

We created our own version of the handbook which we've called the Culture Book. "Culture Book" is not a new term (you can search for it and see different examples of it). But we used that same terminology for our unique product because it embodies what we feel is the foundation of a business that is looking to align all its people around a common goal. Here's what you will see in our Culture Books:

  1. Customized and secure online interface that looks like a webpage that everyone has navigated before

  2. Contact information (phone, e-mail address, online chat options) to communicate with their assigned Alastair HR Manager

  3. A personal welcome message from the business owner

  4. Overview of the company culture and values that define the business.

  5. Overview of the entire team

  6. Summary of key policies and/or procedures that the owner decides to display on the main page for quick and easy access.

  7. A link to the company's full policies and procedures.

  8. Online acknowledgement by employee that the policies and procedures were reviewed.

  9. Up to date federal, state, and local labor law posters.

See for yourself! Don't wait to go to our site by clicking on the button below and click on a preview of our Culture Book.

Andy Vu


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