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Do You Need a Policy Manual?

Whether your business is small or large, managing employees can be a challenge. Human Resources is becoming increasingly more complex, specifically in the area of employment standards and regulations.  Creating or updating a company policy manual may sound like an overwhelming task and maybe even a little boring but having documented policies and procedures in place is essential and can provide enormous benefits to your workplace. The most impactful reasons are:

  • Compliance with employment law – both Canadian and Alberta labor laws require all companies with employees to have specific documented policies, particularly in the areas of discrimination, privacy, harassment, and safety. The absence of policies in these areas can pose significant risk.
  • Sets employee expectations – documented policies provide employees with a consistent, clear understanding of expectations related to workplace behavior, conduct, and performance. This becomes a resource for employees and management when issues arise and provides a benchmark for decision making, performance evaluation, and employee management.
  • Ensures consistency – documented policies are valuable when addressing employee questions or requests. The policies set standards which allow for consistent and fair responses to avoid the illusion of favoritism.
  • Improves onboarding – a policy manual is an efficient way to communicate a large amount of important information to new employees and provide an insight to your culture. It can be an important resource for employees to access as they become familiar with your company.
  • Highlights the benefits of working for your company – a policy manual is the perfect place to document all the great things you do for your employees including benefit plans, bonus structure, sick time, flex days, or training and development. 

Once your manual is in place, ensure it is readily accessible to all employees and you have written acknowledgement that each employee has read and agreed to the policies. Regular updates should be made and communicated as policies and labor laws change.

Policy manuals do not have to be formal and they should represent your culture. Having well documented policies and procedures will reduce employee complaints and contribute to a more positive work environment, resulting in efficiencies and increased productivity in your business.

For more information on how to create an effective manual or to find out how Avail CPA can assist you and your business in creating these policies, give us a call (403-382-6800) or email our Human Resources Director, Kelly (Kelly.dyck@availcpa.com).

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