I often ask dealers this simple question, “How many of you have an employee handbook?” You could hear a pin drop in the room; it is so quiet.

I get it. The idea of going through pages and pages of an employee handbook sounds torturous at best. And the thought of creating one sounds even worse.

If you have been around Bob Clements International for any length of time, you know we are passionate about processes. We live and breathe them in every area of our business and encourage you to do the same in yours. Why? Because when you put processes in place that empower your employees, you get to spend less time putting out fires and more time doing what only you can do.

An employee handbook is an important part of your HR process. It gives your employees the answers to the questions they need answers to without coming to you! The employee handbook doesn’t sound so bad after all, does it?

An employee handbook will give you 3 key benefits:

  1. Reduces questions to management.

Can I take my two weeks’ vacation starting tomorrow? Can I get an advance on my paycheck? Can I wear this? Can I leave early? All of these things and more are covered in the employee handbook. Will your employees still ask questions about policy? Sure.  However, with an employee handbook you will be able to give them a specific answer that won’t change from employee to employee.

  1. Reduces the likelihood of legal action.

We live in a lawsuit happy world. Just about anyone you visit with can tell you a story about how someone was out to get “the man”. And, as the owner or manager of a dealership it’s easy for you to become “the man.” We often receive calls from dealers who are facing legal action because of oversight. Maybe it’s because they let someone go, and they didn’t go through the correct process. It could be that they advanced one employee a paycheck and didn’t advance pay to another employee. To put it simply, the processes and policies in your employee handbook can save you a lot of time, money, and energy in regard to legal action.

  1. Allows you to address employee issues as they develop.

By having a process in place for dealing with employee issues as they develop, you minimize the risk of losing your dealerships’ biggest investment - your people. Internal personnel issues will come up, and your employee handbook should outline how these issues will be dealt with, which will improve the overall work environment for your entire team of employees.  Remember, retaining your best employees is an important part of your job and an up-to-date employee handbook can help you do just that.

Do you need help putting together an employee handbook? Check out our Dealer Toolbox where you’ll find a template for the Employee Handbook or give us a call to see how we can help!

Sara Hey

About Sara Hey

Sara Hey is the Vice President of Operations and Development for Bob Clements International. She has spoken at conferences across the country educating dealers on the internal aspects of their business. She graduated from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois, and has been a contributing writer for BCI for 3 years.