When Jerry Maguire (or Tom Cruise) sees what he perceives as dishonesty in Sports Management – he suffers a nervous breakdown from a guilty conscience and prepares a mission statement laying out his vision for operating things differently and promptly loses his job. But the same statement earns him a loyal admirer who becomes his first employee and throws her lot in with him though he is on extremely shaky ground, both professionally and financially. All employee handbooks may not be such compendiums of personal angst or faith. Essentially all work places need such articulation of policies and rules by which the workplace activities need to be conducted.
Somewhat like Jerry’s Mission Statement, having an Employee Handbook for Temporary Employees helps to provide clarity on the policies governing the workplace activities and the relationship between the staffing company and the temporary employee. It lays out a clear-cut and unambiguous description of the mutual expectations between the two. It also creates a contractual obligation and legal liabilities – so it is very important to avoid making any erroneous statement, however inadvertent. All the policies are clearly communicated to the employee without any misinterpretation or miscommunication – due to a possible lapse of memory on the part of the recruiter or HR person. With this sharing of policies, against a written acknowledgement from the temporary employee, the employer can find protection from subsequent acts of commission or omission on both sides.
Points to Ponder:
There are a few questions which an employer could pose to oneself to ensure that they have a functional and effective employee handbook in place:
While Question 1 & 2 are more or less rhetorical (aimed at eliciting some action out of those who do not have any hand book in place – whether half-baked or just initiated). Unless you answer with a Yes to Q.3 and an equally emphatic No to 4, consider yourself on the verge of some serious trouble and potentially in need of serious help – at some date in the near future.
A proper handbook helps save time and effort in explaining the various rules and policies governing employees. Having and advertizing a uniform policy protects an employer against claims of discrimination. It is a good idea to provide each employee with a personal copy of the handbook, issued against a signed acknowledgement. If the business has special issues and conditions impacting the work environment, these may also be covered with adequate legal guidance.
Some handbooks contain the existing federal, state and local policies as appendices. Once again, it must be re-iterated that it is better not to have a handbook – if it is not updated, correct and complete.
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