Human resources professionals are quick to point out that it is critical for all employers to have an employee manual that cogently documents their company policies as well as an individual employee’s:
- Job description
- Job tasks and responsibilities
- Terms of employment
Sounds good doesn’t it but for many small companies this documentation is simply not accomplished.
True story: one of my business contacts is the owner of a small business. They’re moderately successful and like many small businesses they run a lean shop with multi-tasking being the name of the game. A few weeks ago a key employee gave notice. This individual was involved in sales and received commission as part of their compensation package. What had never been discussed or documented was what would happen with their commission once the employee left the firm. Would it be ongoing for a year? For a month? Did it terminate on the last day of employment?
Confusing to say the least, and both the owner and sales rep were at crossed purposes until such time as they were able to negotiate a mutually acceptable middle ground WITHOUT bringing in a lawyer. There was considerable stress and tension and well, both could have been avoided.
It’s easier to have transparency with both employer and employee on the same page. Yes, easier and also safer (again for both the employer and employee) and less stress-inducing if and when there are “issues.”
So think about it? Do you have the appropriate documentation for employees in your company? If not I highly suggest that you go about getting this accomplished and soon. And if you don’t have the resources to execute the documentation internally there are many outside resources that can assist you in getting it done and getting it done right.
Once again, the best time to do it is NOW before there are potential problems that may equate to lost time and revenue.
And by the way, documenting your staff’s job descriptions and processes is important to do for efficiency even when there are no impending human resources issues.