An employee policy manual or handbook is a valuable tool for outlining company rules and expectations. Just as important, a current, compliant handbook can help prevent employee behaviors that can lead to legal consequences, including lawsuits.
But here’s another benefit of an employee handbook you may have overlooked: increased productivity. That’s right! Certain policies can positively affect employee productivity by setting expectations for attendance, breaks and time off, and the use of personal devices and social media. Without the parameters in these policies, your employees may take advantage of company time and resources, which can hurt engagement and output.
Help pave the way to greater productivity by including these five policies in your employee handbook:
- Attendance policy
- This policy should cover work hours, start and finish times, and the notification and reporting procedures if an employee is going to be late or absent due to illness or other circumstances.
- An attendance policy may include statements such as:
- Supervisors will set schedules based on the needs of the business
- Being late for work, or returning late from breaks or lunch, is considered tardiness
- Not reporting to work, or not notifying the supervisor of the reason for absence for three consecutive days, is grounds for termination
- Time-off policy
- This policy should detail how much paid time off (PTO) an employee receives, how it accrues and a timeframe for submitting requests.
- A time-office policy may include statements such as:
- Requests may be prioritized according to seniority or on a “first come, first served” basis during busy seasons and holidays
- PTO taken above the accrued time can result in progressive discipline up to and including termination
- Blackout periods may apply during certain busy periods
- Break policy
- Although federal law doesn’t require you to provide meal, lunch or break periods, employers do so as a matter of good will. This policy should cover your guidelines surrounding breaks, and whether they’re paid.
- A break policy may include statements such as:
- Break times and lengths vary, depending on the time of year or department
- Employees should not stop working until breaks begin and are expected to resume work immediately at the end of the break
- Employees may not leave company property during breaks without a supervisor’s permission
- Social media policy
- This policy can cover various aspects of social media usage, but for the purposes of productivity, you’ll want to identify acceptable usage of personal accounts — such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — during working hours.
- A social media policy may include statements such as:
- Personal use of social media must not interfere with work responsibilities, or
- Personal use of social media is only permitted on breaks, or
- Personal use of social media strictly prohibited on all company devices
- Bring your own device (BYOD) policy
- This policy has emerged as more and more employees turn to their own devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, for business purposes. It should cover which devices are allowed, how you’ll monitor them and any usage limitations.
- A BYOD policy may include statements such as:
- Off-the-clock business activity (such as checking emails on a phone) is prohibited based on “hours worked” rules under the FLSA
- Certain security features are required (such as anti-virus software or the use of a password)
- Employees using personal devices for business must comply with any applicable privacy laws
Create a Customized Employee Handbook in Less Time
In your quest to maximize time and productivity, the last thing you want to do is take on an unwieldy project to develop a policy manual. Now you can pull everything together in a few easy steps with handbook manager software. Choose from more than 100 policies and industry best practices, all reviewed and approved by HR experts and attorneys. In less than a day, you can compile a clear, concise and up-to-date employee handbook that meets all federal and state employment laws.