No matter how much time and energy you put into your hiring regime there are still times when the person you thought you hired isn’t the same person who shows up to work. Unfortunately many employers put themselves into the position of physically not being able to do anything about this or are unwilling to make the necessary changes. Because of these situations, it is vital that your store have several layers of legal and common-sense policies in places to react to when these problems happen.
My first recommendation is to hire every single person on a temporary base or as a “fixed term” worker. Establish a probational period, between 1 and 3 months, in which the worker can be evaluated on their performance, their work habits and other positive – and negative – aspects of their behavior. This probational period should allow for either party to terminate the employment for any reason at the end of the probational period.
This provision should be made in the form of a contract, so that you can safe guard your business against any legal repercussions of firing the employee. In the contract be sure to include a defined start and end date for the employment, as well as a clear explanation of the purpose of this probational period. In no way should the language of the contract elude to the possibility of future employment at the end of the contract.
Future employment should be negotiated only after this first promotional period. The best person to write this contract would be your business’s lawyer. However there are some resources available on the internet, I will link to them in the premium area at the end of this blog.
In some cases you may want to establish a few sets of “fixed terms” such as a one month contract, 3 month contract and 6 month contract. However according to the protection of employment Act 2003, you are limited in the length of time an employee is legally allowed to remain as a temporary employee. In addition by leaving employees on your staff as a fixed term employee, you do not foster the trust that a good employer / employee relationship should have. This causes that employee to feel un-desired and they may choose to leave your company, which wastes your employee training time and energy and money.
Hiring Full Times Worker:
By the time your hardworking employee has made it through the full hiring process, odds are, you’ve got a star employee. You have invested time, energy and money into this person and it is important that you don’t lose that investment. One way of the best ways, from a policy standpoint, to do this is to have an employee handbook. This handbook is not a contract, nor should it be mistaken as a contract; however it establishes a base point from which disputes can be resolved. It gives the employee a reference to what is expected of them as well as what to except from the company. Furthermore, according to the Information Act 1994, this information is required by Law.
A good employee handbook should include the following:
- Non-Discloure Agreements / Conflict of Interest Statements
- Anti-Discrimination Policies
- Compensation Policies – Including pay day info, time keeping info, federal and state tax info and other deductions
- Work Schedule Policies
- Standards of Conduct – Including dress code and customer service policies
- General Employment Information
- Safety and Security Policies
- Computer and Technology policies
- Media Relations
- Employee Benefits
- Leave Policies
While this handbook should not be treated as a contract, it would be a wise idea to have every employee sign a copy of the book acknowledging that they read it and agree to operate within the guidelines given it it. While a lawyer may not be the best person to write this, it would be a good idea to have your lawyer review it to ensure that all policies conform to state regulations. In the premium section, I will link to an example employee handbook, which you may choose to adapt to fit your business’s needs.