Why Having an Employee Handbook is Important?
Employee Handbook is also known as an employee manual, staff handbook, or company policy manual.
It is a document which defines a company’s key policies and procedures and outlines its company culture.
The employee handbook can be used to bring together employment and job-related information which employees need to know.
Typically, it has three types of content:
A welcome statement, the company’s mission or purpose, company values, and more.
Holiday arrangements, company perks, policies not required by law, policy summaries, and more.
Company policies, rules, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and other information modeled after employment laws or regulations.
Here are the important benefits of having an employee handbook:
- Formalized Policies
A handbook can provide employees with a clear understanding of what they’re responsible for, including how to request time off, how to call in sick, and who to go to with questions about policies or procedures.
By outlining all policies and expectations on both sides of the fence, confusion and inconsistencies are essentially minimized in the workplace.
- Promotes Open Communication and Transparency
Open communication is key to a positive work environment. By giving new hires your handbook, you’re letting them know your mission, purpose, and core values. This sets the stage for a positive business relationship and lets team members know who they can go to with questions about their employment, rights, and work environment.
- Time Saved
A well-written employee handbook offers answers to the most common employees’ questions. By having an employee handbook, you will avoid constant questions over policies. Employees will be able to look up the answers themselves, thus saving your time.
- Legal Disputes Prevented
Lawsuits are a threat in every business, no matter its size or industry. If yours should face a lawsuit or discrimination claim one day from a current or former employee, your handbook could play an influential role in the final outcome. For this reason, make sure you have an expert review your handbook’s wording.
- Company culture outlined
An employee handbook is much more than a list of policies, rules and regulations. A great employee handbook clearly communicates your company’s mission, vision and its values, thus outlining your company’s culture.
Important Note :
A handbook needs to reflect compliance with applicable federal, state and local law.
A handbook should be tailored to your organization and should reflect how you conduct business
For more information about employee handbooks or other HR solutions, contact us today at jumpstart-hr.com/contact
The following is a guest post provided by our friends at FutureFuel
Employee engagement isn’t just a trendy phrase for your next company meeting. When your employees feel connected and engaged with the corporate mission, you will see a noticeable boost in productivity and loyalty.
There is no blanket strategy for increasing engagement levels because every workplace has a different culture to it. However, you can utilize the psychological concept of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to develop an employee engagement strategy that will work for your corporate environment.
What is the Hierarchy of Needs?
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a pretty straightforward concept that is generally accepted in the world of psychology. He believed that humans have five basic needs that must be fulfilled in order to stay happy and motivated, and he said that each of these needs has a place in a pyramid-style hierarchy.
Basic needs at the bottom of this pyramid must be taken care of first, and the higher-level needs can be addressed afterward.
According to Maslow, the needs must be addressed in the following order:
- Physiological needs like food, water, and shelter
- Safety and security
- Relationships and belonging
- Status and respect
- Self-actualization or personal growth
This hierarchy of needs can easily translate to the needs of an employee in terms of engagement.
Hierarchy of Engagement
Using Maslow’s pyramid as a method of better understanding employee engagement can be helpful for developing a strategy to keep everyone feeling fulfilled when they come to work.
To show how this is accomplished, this section will outline each need and demonstrate how it can be applied to the workplace.
This is the base of the pyramid, and it is what everything else must be built upon. In daily life, this is the ability to satisfy physiological needs like hunger, thirst, and sleep.
In the workplace, this translates more specifically to wages. At the base level of the engagement hierarchy, people are most concerned about their ability to earn a living. As much as a job should be about more than money, everyone needs money to survive in today’s world.
After physiological needs are able to be consistently met, the next step up is safety. This is the ability to accumulate resources, maintain good health, and feel secure in day-to-day life.
In terms of engagement, the employees will be concerned about job security and their ability to perform well.
When security is no longer an issue, the next step toward fulfillment includes meaningful relationships and connection to others.
At this part of the hierarchy, employees are happiest when they feel like they’re part of a team that’s working together toward a common goal.
Status and Recognition Needs
Not everyone craves the spotlight, but everyone wants to feel like his or her contributions are valued.
In the workplace, this step of the hierarchy often translates to recognizing employees for their individual achievements. These needs can also be met by asking for and implementing feedback from individual workers.
At the top of the pyramid is self-actualization. Here is where humans are able to explore their true potential and achieve personal growth.
At work, employees at the top of the pyramid are often seen as leaders by their peers. These people are happy to come to work because they feel like they’re making a difference, and their enthusiasm tends to be infectious.
Applying the Hierarchy
Understanding this hierarchy in the context of the workplace can help your business develop better engagement strategies.
One way to ensure that every employee is able to reach the higher levels of this pyramid is by managing compensation. Ensure that employees are able to earn well. Offer incentives, promotions, and raises as a way of helping workers meet the two most basic levels of needs.
Creating a culture that appeals to the higher levels of the hierarchy will largely depend on the industry your company is in. However, there are some basic ideas you can implement to help employees work their way up to self-actualization.
A good starting point is to regularly ask for feedback from everyone. It can be anonymous or not, depending on what is the most viable option for your particular corporate culture. Asking for opinions on team building events, new projects, and how best to recognize employee contributions can be very eye-opening.
By asking for this feedback and incorporating it into your workplace culture, you will show workers that they are being valued. You will be able to foster better relationships between employees because you will have a better understanding of what appeals to them.
Employee Engagement Is Simpler Than You Might Think
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies to everyday life, but it is also an excellent model for how your employees engage in the workplace as well.
Remember that the most basic of needs must be fulfilled first in the form of compensation and job security. Once employees feel secure in their positions, they will start to look for connections, respect, and a sense of higher purpose.
It may take a bit of trial and error to learn the best ways to implement this approach in your corporate culture, but it is well worth the effort. You will see noticeable increases in happiness, productivity, and loyalty when you begin to successfully apply the hierarchy of needs to a workplace setting.
When a small business owner offers employment to a candidate, it can be one of the best feelings in the world for both sides. But what happens if somewhere along the process, mistakes are made that can eventually come back to harm the business? Even worse, what happens if the same mistakes get repeated over time – resulting in catastrophic financial losses and disruption of the business? You might not think it’s possible in your organization but no company is immune to legal trouble when it comes to onboarding new hires. On November 4, 2019, Alberto Ruisanchez, chief, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) gave several helpful tips to stay out of trouble when making your next new hire. In his presentation, entitled “Avoiding Unlawful Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination,” Mr. Ruisanchez mentioned three key areas where employers find themselves in trouble with the law:
- Recruitment or Referral for a Fee
While each of these areas are critically important to pay attention to, I’ve found that most small businesses make mistakes with onboarding the most. Most specifically, there are mistakes made when proving the employee has the right to work in the United States. Here are a few tips to keep your business above board and your new hires happily employed for the long haul!
Be cautious of making hiring preferences based on citizenship status. According to Ruisanchez, many employers are unable to make hiring preferences for American citizens. What does this mean? If you have an open position at your company and non-American citizens apply, you cannot reject them on the basis of their citizenship status. For example, If Joe’s Plumbing and HVAC has an opening for a Senior Manager role, any eligible applicant cannot be dismissed simply because they are not American. If the US Department of Justice or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discovers a practice of excluding qualified applicants from progressing in your hiring process, you may be subject to fines and back pay for all affected individuals.
Now, as with many things relating to the law, there are exceptions. Federal Contractors who participate in contracts that have citizenship-based hiring requirements, workers who are unauthorized to work in America, workers who require employer sponsorship, and, of course, wherever allowable by law.
In order to reduce the odds of trigger an inquiry by the USDOJ and EEOC, I recommend the following tips to stay on the right side of the law:
- For roles that are open to citizens and non-citizens alike, do not ask for citizenship status the application. Only ask if the applicant is eligible to work in the United States.
- Review your application practices to ensure they wouldn’t trigger a red flag. Seek professional help if you have any doubts.
- Keep a record of all applicants and save paperwork + digital applications for the appropriate amount of time required by law.
Understand employee rights with completing Form I-9, and try not to be too “helpful.” When completing Form I-9, a new hire document that all employees must complete, it’s important to give each new hire a choice of which documents they use to complete the form. There are two main requirements for the Form I-9. List A documents show proof of identity and work eligibility while List B documents and List C documents combine to show proof of identity and work eligibility. You have to let the employee pick From my experience, small business owners and administrative staff might think they are being helpful by telling new applicants which I-9 documents to bring but that’s actually no-no. Here’s what I recommend instead:
- Provide your new hire with the full list of List A, List B, and List C documentation. Here is the official USCIS list.
- Give the employee an ample amount of time and notice to secure the documents that they know will cover both proof of identity and eligibilty to work. As the employer, you should check both to ensure neither documents have expired.
- When it comes time to recertify an employee, follow the same course of action. Prescribing which documents to use may seem helpful but it can actually be discriminatory if you only accept certain documents.
For more helpful tips and a recap of the events from the 2019 SHRM Global Mobility and Immigration Summit, check out #GMIS19 on Twitter!
In this internet era, finding job listings is pretty straightforward. However, it is arguably harder than ever to stand out in a crowd of experienced applicants. However, if you have excellent skills and you know how to draw attention to them on your resume, your chances of being noticed by a recruiter are pretty good. Also, if you are an employer looking for talent, wouldn’t you like to know what skills are in demand today and needed for tomorrow?
After analyzing various reports and profiles, I have identified the top five skills that helped get candidates hired last year. Take a look:
Cloud and Distributed Computing
With the rise of cloud computing-based applications like Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Cloud, and Google Drive, the need for skilled and capable professionals is increasing. Companies are eager to spend more money on employees with cloud computing skills because of the high demand for remote software storage. As a result of high demand, professionals with these skills can easily command high salaries. In 2018, the average salary packages offered to Platform Engineer and Cloud Architect was about $107,185/year and $142,141/year.
Learn More About Cloud Computing
Data analyzing, data organization, and business analyzing are among the few areas that need analytical reasoning skills. As companies collect data more than ever before, they are starving for professionals who can make smart decisions based on it.
Whether you are preparing business analysis or working on increasing engagement with data analytics, the capability to comprehend and present numerical data proves to be in high demand. Know that, in 2018, salary packages offered to Data Analysts and Business Analysts were about $65,000 and $70,000 per year.
Learn More About Analytical Reasoning Skills
The age of artificial intelligence is here to stay. Therefore, this high-demand skill comes as no surprise. From generating personalized ads to tracking digital footprints to develop self-driving cars, AI is becoming a part of our daily.
Artificial Intelligence is expected to offer 2.3M opportunities by the year 2020. Just search on Indeed; vacancies in the field of artificial intelligence have doubled over the last three years and are expected to rise in the upcoming years. AI is the future, and employers seem to have caught on to this trend.
Develop Skills In Artificial Intelligence
Even though advances in technology have shifted the focus away from human interaction, people management remains number four on the top skills list! Technology is appreciated, but so are people, and the results of a combined effort you drive as a team are valued much higher compared to results-driven by one individual.
In the business, building successful relationships with employees and management is essential. Therefore, companies who want to build great workplace culture and improve the employee experience hunt for people with great people management skills. The people who are masters in this area are best suited for leadership positions in any organization.
Become a Better People Manager
Sales and Marketing Skills
With the increase in competition in the business field, the need for marketing skills is also increasing. Companies make every effort to stand out amongst competitors, and so must employees on an individual basis. As a result, the demand for people with excellent sales and marketing skills is growing.
When it comes to the salaries of the marketer, it usually varies with the capabilities and results produced. Where some marketers got vast salaries, others got even double of them. However, with the ability to earn commission and bonuses, the salary growth possibilities in this field are limitless.
Become a Better Marketer
While these may be the top five workforce skills in the US job market today, one constant thing is change. If your company requires updated job descriptions or general HR consulting support, contact us right away.
To stay on top of Jumpstart:HR, LLC’s view of all things Human Resources, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter today.
Do You Know The Rules On Paid and Unpaid Internships?
“I’m looking for an intern because I just lost a critical employee.”
“We believe interns should be ready to contribute on the first day of their internship!”
“Our interns work as long as they’d like!”
If any of these three statements reflect your paid or unpaid internship experience, I hate to break it to you but you’re doing it wrong. Students who agree to join your organization shouldn’t be evaluated the same way as an entry-level employee because the rules of engagement aren’t the same. A quick rule of thumb is that employees are hired to SHOW and interns are groomed to GROW. If you’re in the middle of the hiring process for your summer interns and think you might be going about it wrong, we’ve got you covered!
This article will explain:
- The merits of paid and unpaid internships
- The seven factors that the Federal Government uses to validate an internship program
- What to do if you’re stuck or confused
Are Internships Still Worth It?
If you’re a hiring manager at your organization, you’re probably wondering if internships still matter. In an era of AI and bots, lean teams and freelancers; the idea of hiring an intern might feel like an afterthought. Not only do interns legally require more hand-holding than other labor classes, but turnover is darn-near 100% since unlike Mike in Accounting who’s been at your company since the pre-Internet age, internships have to end at some point! In my professional opinion, internships are worth it for employers and interns alike! My thoughts on the subject are below but I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section or by tweeting me on Twitter (@joeyvpriceHR).
Did you know that 70% of employees say “training” is a key retention tool for them?
Check out our new employee development course site today!
If you’ve ever looked at entry-level job descriptions (or written one lately), you know the conundrum that early-stage employees face. Many “entry-level” jobs require at least 1 or 2 years of experience in the industry… But how does one get this experience without having experience? Well, a perfect way is through an internship. Whether a student has a paid or unpaid internship, there’s redeeming value for the student who makes the most of their time at work. Yes, unpaid internships continue to be a hot topic on college campuses but they do pay off. Unpaid internships offer a whole host of opportunities for students who make the most of their limited time on your team:
- Valuable work experience
- Opportunities to network with industry professionals
- A chance at reducing college tuition debt
Internships also benefit employers in many ways. They offer employers a way to begin building a pipeline of future talent, increase brand recognition among early-stage professionals, and may provide skilled labor at a discounted cost to help support mission-critical tasks. However, internships also come with a degree of risk, and an unsuspecting employer may find themselves under scrutiny or facing legal penalties and fines if their internship programs do not measure up to Federal, State, and local guidelines.
What Mistakes Do Employers Make When Hiring Interns?
Perhaps the biggest issue that arises when providing internships is whether the experience actually constitutes an internship, or if it is considered to be employment. Remember, internships are meant to be an educational experience first and foremost. Thankfully, there is Federal guidance on what makes a good internship program! The following criteria and tests can be used when determining whether or not your internship program is truly an internship:
- Both the intern and the employer understand that the intern is not entitled to compensation
Make it clear to your interns from the very start that they will not be paid for their efforts as an intern. Try to capture this in writing either when you offer the internship to the student, or in the original announcement to which the intern applies.
- The internship provides training that would be given in an educational setting.
Say goodbye to the days of making your interns take everyday coffee runs, lunch orders, and other menial tasks. The work that an intern is asked to complete should be similar to that of what they would otherwise do or learn in the classroom (business majors should learn about business functions and processes, political science majors should gain an understanding of the political process, etc.)
- Completing the internship entitles the intern to academic credit
So, if the intern isn’t getting paid in money, what should they be paid in? Why, academic credit of course. Work with academic institutions’ internship coordinators to coordinate how many hours an internship will be expected to work, and how many credit hours the intern may be expected to receive.
- The internship is limited in duration and educates the intern
Put a time limit on how long the intern will be expected to work for your company. This helps in setting expectations for your interns, as well as in determining the number of credits your interns will receive for their experience. How long should an intern last, you might ask….?
- The internship corresponds with the academic calendar.
Depending on the State, college, or academic program, this length might differ. However, make sure that the internship corresponds as closely as possible to the academic calendars of the colleges in which your interns are enrolled.
- The work complements, rather than displaces the work of a paid employee
Plain and simple, your interns should not replace your regular workers. Doing so almost universally results in your interns being considered regular, paid employees. Not to mention, it is also unethical and, if your interns continue not to be paid, could result in stiff fines for your company.
- The intern is not entitled or promised a paid job at the end of the internship.
Promising an intern a job doing essentially the same things they’ve been doing as an intern causes problems. Mainly, it essentially creates an “unpaid trial service period” to test out employees until they become regular employees. A documented or promised job at the end of the internship also can be seen as creating an employment relationship.
By no means does this list preclude you from paying your interns for the work they do for your company. In fact, you may need to pay your interns in order to be competitive and attract top college talent to intern for your organization. However, it is important to keep the above 7 factors in mind, regardless of whether your interns are paid or unpaid.
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Do You Want to Build The Perfect Internship Experience?
If you’ve gotten this far in the post, pat yourself on the back! It shows that you’re committed to helping your workplace be a launching point for successful students who benefit from mentorship at your office. If you’re interested in building out your internship program – or refining it – contact us today! It never hurts to have a second set of professional eyes reviewing your program to make sure it’s perfect. Jumpstart:HR, LLC can assess your internship program for the following:
- Does your internship program pass the seven-step test?
- Is your internship program one that students want to sign up for?
- How do you make the most of the time your interns have with you?
- How do you attract interns that resonate with your brand/mission/values?
- What do I need to know/do if an intern doesn’t quite work out and needs to be terminated?
These are all big questions that we talk for small businesses and small teams at larger institutions. Drop us a note and let’s chat!
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