AUG 2014

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Page 92 of 115 | AUGUST 2014 91 • Introductory or probationary period for employees • Disciplinary policy • Hours and timekeeping • Compensation policies • Benefi ts, including vacation and/or sick time, medical/dental/401k, education/training, etc. • Rules of conduct, including absenteeism, use of company supplies, appearance, personal calls, etc. • Safety policies and procedures • Privacy policies • Any agreement concerning competition • Sign-off page for employee Antoline also advises including a phrase in the handbook making it clear that it doesn't serve as a binding contract that guarantees employees contin- ued employment for a specifi ed period of time. Along with the basics, there are a range of items you might want to add, such as spa job descrip- tions, and policies regarding the treatment of cli- ents, handling of complaints and customer service. Chill Spa's Kantor added a specifi c script she want- ed her employees to use when greeting clients to the spa. "I wanted every guest to have the same Chill experience," she explains. "If you don't have a script in place, people generally say whatever they feel like saying." It sounds like a lot, but most items don't require much explanation. Usually, just a few pages will do the trick. Fusion LifeSpa's handbook is thorough, yet only about eight pages in length. "Everything is straight and to the point—it isn't really wordy," Shuster says. Once your handbook is written, there's one more step worth taking. Antoline stresses the importance of having the document reviewed by an attorney who is knowledgeable about employment law and famil- iar with different state and federal laws. "It's such a complicated area of the law now that it's fraught with risks," he explains. "Since the major interface between the employer and employee is usually the written handbook, it's important to make sure you get it right." Antoline also urges employers to maintain commu- nication with that employment law attorney because state and federal laws change frequently, necessitating updates as time goes by. He also suggests reviewing the handbook once a year, at a minimum, not only to make law-related changes, but to add in stipulations you may not have foreseen. • Use FreeInfo #47

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