Data Journalism Handbook - Chapter 1: Introduction

One of the most important documents every business should have is an Employee Handbook.

I know, I know … boring, right? Handbooks are so long and tedious and “no one ever reads them.” Well, the truth of the matter is, an Employee Handbook is your first line of defense in many situations. When well developed, a Handbook will establish appropriate conduct for employees as well as help your business defend itself against claims.

Some of the biggest complaints I have heard about employee handbooks is that they are too expensive to print every time there is a change and that it is difficult to get the information out to all employees in a timely manner, especially those who travel frequently.

For those of you behind the “times,” a good way to solve those issues is making the move from paper format to a digital handbook. If that sounds scary to you, just think of the benefits an online document can provide you. Rather than a thick, printed booklet that employees have to remember where they stashed, employees will have immediate access to up-to-date policies by merely logging into their employee profile. In addition, a digital handbook is much less costly to keep updated, as there are little to no printing costs, and the document is ready to go as soon as the final version is approved.

If you think you might be ready to make the technological move of transferring your handbook from hard copy to digital copy, here are some guidelines to help you make this transition smoothly.

  1. Require all employees to login with a user name and a password specific to them in order to view and acknowledge the policies within the handbook. Not only will this provide documentation that they reviewed the document, it will also prevent non-employees from accessing the document.

  2. Be sure to include a Handbook Acknowledgement at the start of the process so that employees fully understand their responsibilities.

  3. As part of the Handbook Acknowledgement, be sure to include disclaimers that state the Handbook should not be viewed as an employment contract and that the policies included are subject to change and supersede all prior versions.

  4. Confirm your electronic signature process is within legal requirements so that the electronic signature is not questioned in the future. You can find some good information here: www.fdic.gov/regulations/compliance/manual/10/x-3.1.pdf

  5. List current contacts in the document to ensure employees know who they should reach out to if they have questions or need assistance. Make sure these contacts are updated on a regular basis so the contact information is current.

  6. Provide links within the handbook itself to direct employees to additional documents such as forms or information on benefits.

  7. Notify employees immediately when the handbook is updated and require them to log in and acknowledge the changes with a new electronic signature. Email notification is a good method to document that you notified all employees. Remember to give employees a specific length of time to review the updates and follow-up with any employees who have not completed their acknowledgement at the end of the allotted time.

In addition to the above list, remember to have some hard copies of the handbook available for those who prefer to live in the dark ages, or just may not have access to a computer.

I recommend keeping your digital document fluid and updating annually, to stay on top of ever changing employment laws.

If you don’t have an Employee Handbook, or simply need it refreshed and/or reviewed, now is the perfect time to get started. Having a compliant handbook in place will help set expectations for employees, as well as protect the company in many areas. As always, we are just an email or phone call away!

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2018 Labor Law Posters

One of the many resources that Cascade offers to employers are all-in-one Employment Law posters. These posters are available in both heavy duty glossy or laminated depending on your needs.

Keep in mind that the Oregon Minimum Wage will increase in July. As an added benefit to ordering from Cascade we will send you an easy-to-apply sticker to reflect the change at that time. This is an easy way to get in compliance with your employment law posters.

If you use all-in-one commonly required posters, go to our website and order yours.

Check this off your list  

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Jerry's Home Improvement store photo

If you’re from the Eugene area, you grew up with the playful TV ads and the quirky billboards that make you smile—and you probably know the jingle by heart. When it’s time to remodel your kitchen or repair a leaky faucet, you know there’s only one place to go: “Better Head for Jerry’s.”

Here are some things you might not know about this favorite Willamette Valley destination:

  1. Jerry’s opened for business in November of 1961 in a 5,000 sq. ft. store on Highway 99 North. Owners Jerry and Merle Orem served one customer that first day. Fifty-six years later, Jerry’s has grown from two employees to hundreds and completes almost two million customer transactions a year.
  2. Jerry’s was built one customer at a time, one project at a time. After many remodels and expansions, Jerry’s ran out of space. In December of 1985, with just over 20 employees, Jerry’s moved to a larger store on the corner of Highway 99 North and Beltline Road.
  3. With son Dennis Orem and his wife Sharon now running the store, Jerry‘s expanded again in 1996, opening the doors of the current 350,000 sq. ft. facility on the corner of Highway 99 North and Beltline, where the business is still run one customer at a time.
  4. After many customer requests, and wanting to provide two convenient locations, Jerry’s opened a second store in January 2003 in Springfield.
  5. In December of 2010, Dennis and Sharon announced they were transitioning ownership of Jerry’s to the employees through an ESOP, allowing them to become shareholders and partners in Jerry’s growth.

A lot has changed at Jerry’s since 1961, but one thing that remains the same is the tradition and commitment to providing the best customer service anywhere—and products at competitive prices. Cascade is pleased to showcase Jerry’s Home Improvement Center, honoring 25 years in Cascade membership.

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Cascade Staff Image

In observance of the holidays, the Cascade offices will be closed December 25 and 26, and January 1 and 2.

Our resolution for 2018 is to engage with great employers like you, building a thriving workforce and a prosperous year.

Please accept our best wishes for this holiday season!

Sincerely,

Cascade Team

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