As we turn the corner into spring with tax refunds freshly deposited you may begin to see an uptick in business. We have talked a time or two about how to go about hiring talented professionals. But once you find that technician or sales manager what does your on-boarding process look like? Perhaps it is sink or swim – you throw them right into your company and see how they respond. Though this may work for some individuals there is value to having a set up process for getting people introduced to working at your company. These are two things we suggest you keep in mind and put into action regardless of if you are currently hiring new employees.
Small businesses with fewer than 10 employees often forgo the formality of having an employee handbook. But this is a mistake. An employee handbook, even if short and sweet, lays out every employee’s rights and the employer’s duties. It’s crucial for keeping employees informed and everyone on the same page.
If you’ve never written an employee handbook before, here are some key features and information it should have:
- Keep it easy to read. There’s no need to fill it with legal and human resources jargon. Instead, write it in plain terms anyone you hire will understand.
- Describe the company accurately. Provide a description of the company, its services, principles, and overall culture. Be honest, because employees will know if you aren’t.
- Give information on hours, vacation time, sick time, and overtime policies. Also, make sure your policies are in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- It’s important to maintain a balance between having an engaging employee handbook and one that clearly lays out the laws and company policies. Don’t shy away from the fact that there are federal and state laws as well as business guidelines that all employees must follow.
- Once you’ve developed an employee handbook, consider having your attorney look it over. This is a good time to ensure you’re aware of all federal and state legislation that affects your business and employees. Additionally, go over and update your handbook at least once a year. As your business grows, your policies may change. Laws that affect your company may change as well.
- It’s also a smart decision to have your employees verify in writing that they received the employee handbook. This protects you from workers later claiming they weren’t given the document and weren’t aware of their rights or the company’s policies.
Something we often hear is how hard it can be to find the right person. We work in a field that is specific so sometimes you may have to hire someone that you will invest in. Perhaps it’s someone with sales experience but no industry knowledge or a young enthusiast who wants to learn the ins and outs of the industry. So perhaps part of your onboarding includes some standard training.
When it comes to training and helping people understand the industry, CEDIA is at the top of the class.
The single best introductory resource is CEDIA’s Fundamentals of Residential Electronic Systems book, and the Gateway certification it supports. This program covers the entire residential systems industry at a solid introductory level, and is pretty much a “must have” for any person or company that needs to know the key points related to technologies in the home. The book covers all the sub-topics of the CEDIA Gateway certification, which is the foundation for all of CEDIA’s higher professional certifications.
This is by no means the only training option or certification option. There are a variety of resources available at cedia.net/train or you can contact someone from CEDIA’s education team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help you decide on a training program for your staff.
Certainly every company’s onboarding process looks different but these are two key components every company should consider. Even the most skill technician or designer will eventually need to sharpen their skills, this is where an employee handbook can also be helpful to define what the policies and procedures are for training. Looking for more business advice? Check out CEDIA.net/blog to see our advice for businesses just like yours.