Dear M & M: What’s the best way to let my employees know how I want things done? The pandemic has made me rethink policies and procedures. – Debbie

Dear Debbie: If you don’t already have one you need to redo or create an employee handbook. The purpose of your employee handbook is to educate your employees on federal, state and your own policies with company specific guidelines and expectations.

I would include a place where the employee signs to acknowledge they know where to get a copy, that they understand it and know how to reach a person designated to answer any questions or problems. From codes of conduct to how to dress at your company, policies should be included.

In addition, causes for termination, paid holidays, rules and regulations on sick leave, accrued sick leave, paid vacation, time off for death of a family member and working hours are just some of the areas that should be clearly stated in your employee handbook. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, “An employee handbook can be a valuable communication resource for both the employer and the employee. It provides guidance and information related to the organization’s history, mission, values, policies, procedures and benefits in a written format.”

ASK M&M is prepared and submitted by Mark Schmitt, director of the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College; and Mignonne Hollis, executive director at the Arizona Economic Development Foundation. To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Cochise College (520) 515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Arizona Regional’ Economic Development Foundation at (520) 458-6948 or email hollism@aredf.org; www.aredf.org.