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In the Bloom with Maria: A well-crafted employee handbook can save you headaches—and heartaches—in the long run

In the bloom with Maria

Many mom and pop floral shops may not think an employee handbook is necessary when they have fewer than a handful of employees. But a handbook can be a critical tool in providing your staff with guidelines and expectations that can help improve your business.

The article “By the Book” by Glenna Hecht, SPHR, published in the February 2018 issue of Floral Management, weighs in on the benefits of an employee handbook. It points out that a handbook is different from an operations manual, which is a “how-to” guide. Instead, your handbook should reflect your company’s values and voice and be given to an employee on their first day to teach them what kind of behavior is expected.

While there are many different ways to construct an employee handbook, there are some must-have topics, including:

  • Welcome to the company: This includes your mission and values or code of honor, and expected employee behaviors.
  • Employment policies: You should include guidelines on employment-at-will, EEO, and immigration.
  • Conduct in the workplace: This section typically includes topics like harassment, ethics, and violence in the workplace.
  • Workplace policies: Here you’ll share company-specific information like attendance, dress code, social media guidelines, fraternization, and standards of conduct.
  • Benefits: Showcase what benefits you offer, like a 401(k) retirement plan and time off.
  • Safety in the workplace: This should include workers’ compensation and safety guidelines.

Also, make sure the employee signs a receipt for the handbook. That way you’ll know that your policies are understood by the employee.

Since work slows for many florists over the summer, this may be a good time for you to think about putting together an employee handbook if you don’t have one. The Society of American Florists and Hortica both offer free and customizable templates for their members on their websites. They include important topics such as employment policies, workplace policies, and safety in the workplace, which can benefit your shop or studio—whether you have one employee or 100.

In addition, if you have a Hortica Business Package Policy, you’ll soon have access to Enquiron’s risk management tools. Among the features, a state-specific employee handbook builder for free. Look for more details coming soon.

Talk with your Hortica representative about this or any other concerns you might have about your policies and coverages. They’ll be happy to sit down with you and make sure you have the protection you need.

 

Related links:

For more information on protecting your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.

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