A Case for a Policies & Procedures Manual

Most large companies have a policies and procedures manual in print, on DVD, or posted on their website. Usually new employees are required to sign an acknowledgement that they have read or received the manual, that they fully understand what they have read and had the opportunity to ask questions.

Any company, however small, should be able to refer employees to warnings and consequent terminations as their established policies. Even a two person company can benefit from having a policy and procedures manual or statement for your new employee to read and sign. This may protect the employer from unemployment claims and legal action as well as, and more commonly, misunderstandings and disagreements about what is acceptable and what is not.

Unemployment claims can be challenged and won when employees have disregarded written policies and procedures, refused to follow instruction, a stated work ethic etc. Warnings must be documented for an employer to achieve denial of an unemployment claim.

For small companies there are several reference options on Google that can be used for guidance. Ultimately the decision of what is acceptable is up to the owner of the business.

No manual, or one that is too lenient or non-specific, can spell disaster. Without a stated and signed Policies and Procedures Manual an employer has no compass by which to direct or control their employee(s). Employers then depend on an employee’s knowledge and self control regarding good behavior and work ethic.

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