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Husky05
02-04-2012, 01:11 PM
Does anyone write or have an employee handbook they implement with there work force. I am in the process of writing one up because for the past few years people that work for me seem to not understand what I expect from them.

Anyone have one they would share with me? I by no means want to copy or steal your handbook, but I want to use it maybe for ideas. Any help would be great.

Thanks

forman
03-01-2012, 12:55 PM
I have a handbook ( operations manual) that I have written based on my 40 years in the Turf Industry.It is from the beginning of the day to the end. This fits most companies but might need to be modified, depending on your company.

Ken

Jbh0724
04-07-2012, 06:38 PM
I would be very interested to read your handbook. I have been an owner operated company for about 3 years now, but I am looking to expand to multiple crews. Something like a handbook could make life a ton less stressful.

Az Gardener
04-08-2012, 03:05 AM
There are really several "books" you need to develop. The Employee Handbook that outlines the employee employer relationship. When is pay day, who pays for uniforms, what are the benefits, what gets you fired, what is the chain of command etc.

Then you need an Operations Manual and you will probably want a different one for each position. What is the system for operating a 21" mower, a walk behind, or a stand on. How do you line trim what is the proper method, steps etc.

Here is the table of contents for my employee handbook

Table of contents
1. Our systems
2. Compliance
3. Privacy
4. Employment issues
5. Benefits
6. Career development

Then for operations the laborer or gnome position it looks like this.

General Systems

• Gardeners “Rules to Live By”

• Completing Time Sheets

• Truck Etiquette

• Communication Etiquette

Gnome Systems

• Luminescent Lighting

• Perfect Cut Every time

• Magical Mulch Cover

• Weed & Trash Free

• Stupendous Flowers

• Effective Cleaning Methods

• Equipment Safety

• Loading and Unloading Debris

• Proper Pot Watering

Its a long road and if your not going to train, and demand the rules/systems are followed don't bother. It is a lot of work and its never done. The system you have for loading and unloading debris changes based on what type of truck or trailer your dumping into, just as an example.

When you change the way you do things you need to change the books. For an already busy guy its just one more thing. Not trying to discourage you I'm just saying there is a reason most guys don't go beyond the crew that they work with. Its a hell of a lot of work.

Jbh0724
04-08-2012, 11:12 AM
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Jbh0724
04-08-2012, 11:14 AM
Thank you for responding. As I stand right now I am operating with my brother and labor as needed. The transition to 2 crews will be easy but beyond that, I will need literature like you have outlined. Would you be willing to send me a copy of what you use? I would be willing to pay for it.
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Duekster
04-08-2012, 02:08 PM
The Great State of Texas Workforce commision actually has a nice outline of a Handbook and covers a lot but it fits our right to work state laws. They even warn you if some policies might be questioned at the federal level if misapplied.

I also had an employment lawyer write my employment agreement, application. It cost me a several hours of my time and 2K of the lawyers billing.

The employment lawyer handled the pre-screening questions/ background check and the no-raid. Did not even think of a non-compete but no raid is a good tool to keep people from stealing your employees and clients.

Jbh0724
04-08-2012, 02:25 PM
Wow. That is pretty expensive. I am finding out that the cost of doing business is pretty high.
Posted via Mobile Device

Duekster
04-08-2012, 02:41 PM
Wow. That is pretty expensive. I am finding out that the cost of doing business is pretty high.
Posted via Mobile Device

I am not suggesting everyone run out and hire a lawyer but at the time it was worth it to me. You may just search your workforce commision and see if they have some guidance on a hand book. I think the SBA also has some good basics.

It is important that you have these in place when you hire people for several reasons. I do not suggest you try a non-compete but a no raid. Your employees talk to your clients a lot.

Duekster
04-08-2012, 02:43 PM
There are really several "books" you need to develop. The Employee Handbook that outlines the employee employer relationship. When is pay day, who pays for uniforms, what are the benefits, what gets you fired, what is the chain of command etc.

Then you need an Operations Manual and you will probably want a different one for each position. What is the system for operating a 21" mower, a walk behind, or a stand on. How do you line trim what is the proper method, steps etc.

Here is the table of contents for my employee handbook

Table of contents
1. Our systems
2. Compliance
3. Privacy
4. Employment issues
5. Benefits
6. Career development

Then for operations the laborer or gnome position it looks like this.

General Systems

• Gardeners “Rules to Live By”

• Completing Time Sheets

• Truck Etiquette

• Communication Etiquette

Gnome Systems

• Luminescent Lighting

• Perfect Cut Every time

• Magical Mulch Cover

• Weed & Trash Free

• Stupendous Flowers

• Effective Cleaning Methods

• Equipment Safety

• Loading and Unloading Debris

• Proper Pot Watering

Its a long road and if your not going to train, and demand the rules/systems are followed don't bother. It is a lot of work and its never done. The system you have for loading and unloading debris changes based on what type of truck or trailer your dumping into, just as an example.

When you change the way you do things you need to change the books. For an already busy guy its just one more thing. Not trying to discourage you I'm just saying there is a reason most guys don't go beyond the crew that they work with. Its a hell of a lot of work.



Have any of these in Spanish... even then I am not sure they can read spanish?

Az Gardener
04-08-2012, 03:15 PM
I don't want to sell mine and it you would probably be dissapointed when you got it anyway, because its for my company. If you use a payroll service like ADP or Paychex they provide some human resources services and can give you a boilerplate employee hand book that will meet your state and federal requirements.

Both of these documents are very specific to your business. If you want to buy someone else's business get a franchise. I think if you join PLANET you get access to "business in a box" that has both general systems and an employee hand book. That would cost 4-500 bucks I think and be a good jumping off point for you if you are determined to go down this road.

I just want to reiterate you must be committed and its not easy to get everyone to comply with your rules and systems. Take a walk down that road mentally for a minute and give some thought to what may happen...

Your employee hand book states if a foreman leaves any gate open two times in a 30 day period they will be terminated. I think we can all agree a gate left unlatched where children could get into a pool and drown or a family pet may escape is about as serious of offense as you could encounter.

Now your best foreman has some personal things going on and his head is not completely in the game, he leaves gates open... what are you going to do? You have to fire the guy. Oh yea he is also your best friend and brother in law now you have problems. If you don't fire him you open yourself to legal problems down the road not to mention undermining the foundation of your company. Which rules or systems do you follow and which ones do you ignore.

If you are going to get big you definitely need these tools. If you are unsure save yourself the headache and legal liability. I can't emphasize enough this is no small undertaking.

Az Gardener
04-08-2012, 03:17 PM
Have any of these in Spanish... even then I am not sure they can read spanish?

All my guys speak and read english

Duekster
04-08-2012, 03:20 PM
I don't want to sell mine and it you would probably be dissapointed when you got it anyway, because its for my company. If you use a payroll service like ADP or Paychex they provide some human resources services and can give you a boilerplate employee hand book that will meet your state and federal requirements.

Both of these documents are very specific to your business. If you want to buy someone else's business get a franchise. I think if you join PLANET you get access to "business in a box" that has both general systems and an employee hand book. That would cost 4-500 bucks I think and be a good jumping off point for you if you are determined to go down this road.

I just want to reiterate you must be committed and its not easy to get everyone to comply with your rules and systems. Take a walk down that road mentally for a minute and give some thought to what may happen...

Your employee hand book states if a foreman leaves any gate open two times in a 30 day period they will be terminated. I think we can all agree a gate left unlatched where children could get into a pool and drown or a family pet may escape is about as serious of offense as you could encounter.

Now your best foreman has some personal things going on and his head is not completely in the game, he leaves gates open... what are you going to do? You have to fire the guy. Oh yea he is also your best friend and brother in law now you have problems. If you don't fire him you open yourself to legal problems down the road not to mention undermining the foundation of your company. Which rules or systems do you follow and which ones do you ignore.

If you are going to get big you definitely need these tools. If you are unsure save yourself the headache and legal liability. I can't emphasize enough this is no small undertaking.

I was just joking about the spanish versions.

You do bring up some good points. The trick is to have a policy in place that is clear but also flexible.

One option for people starting out it to use the resource you mentioned or the ones I mentioned. The bottom line however, it does not have to be all done at one time. The hand book (s) can change and grow. Use Memo's and set policies if something happens then bring them into the manual on the next revision.