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Clearly laying out company policies and easy for larger companies, but small companies are at a disadvantage because they have just as much work to do, but for fewer employees. It might seem like an overwhelming task, but putting together an employee handbook is critical to running a successful small business. Some payroll companies are able to help you with this and other human resources (HR) management issues, so you might want to consider outsourcing this work. Whether you decide to contract this out or do it in-office, it’s extremely important that all the rules and guidelines for your company are clearly laid out in an employee handbook. Here are a few things to consider before you make a decision.

Small business owners are often overworked, and it helps if employees know what’s expected of them.

Business owners are responsible for many things, some of which include processing payroll (if they manage payroll in house). They might have to do things like total hours, perform gross-to-net calculations for each employee, calculate and deposit payroll taxes, and prepare and file complex tax returns accurately and on time. Even if payroll companies handle these services for your small business, it’s important to clearly delineate expectations from employees in your employee handbook. You must include how to determine hours, how to accurately report hours, and what the rules are for missing work. If everyone is on the same page, there will be fewer misunderstandings which means less of a headache for the business owner.

If there’s ever a complaint, you can refer to the employee handbook to make sure the rules are clear.

If someone complains about a workplace situation, it makes things a lot easier to resolve if you can refer to the company rules and they are clearly states. Perhaps someone is frustrated with how the owner or another employee handled another situation, and if the handbook specifically addresses this, there will be no confusion as to how to handle it. It’s best if you can anticipate as many potential difficulties as possible, so your small business is protected from various complaints. If you’re overwhelmed with the task of composing an employee handbook, payroll companies are often able to help with HR tasks such as this.

Having an employee handbook can help protect your business.

As stated above, sometimes employees do file complaints, and they don’t always agree with the business owner about the final outcome. If there’s a disagreement and other people become involved, it puts you as the owner in a much stronger position if you can demonstrate that you set clear expectations and guidelines for your employees.

Have you always done payroll yourself? Have you ever encountered any HR problems for which you now question your decision? If you’ve recently hired HR or payroll companies in Canada, or you’re thinking about hiring someone soon, please let us know in the comments.