When creating a California Employee Handbook, finding and including all of the required policies can be daunting. California has more required policies than any other state, including multiple cities that have their own required policies. Whether all of your employees are based in California or only a handful are, you will need to provide a California-specific handbook. This is important for employers because it keeps companies and employees aligned. Having a clear employee handbook with all of the relevant policies keeps companies out of hot water.
While there are many policies required for all states that you will need to include in your California Employee Handbook, there are quite a few policies that California specifically requires employers to include in their handbooks. These policies apply to all cities in the state of California.
Many California cities have additional required policies if employees are based in one of the following cities. Here is a sampling of some of the most important policies required for each of these cities, followed by their breakdown. Policies for cities change frequently and this list is not exhaustive.
City of Emeryville
City of Berkeley
City of Los Angeles
City of Oakland
City of San Diego
City of Santa Monica
City of San Francisco
There are policies required by federal law in all 50 states, and so they must be included in your handbook no matter what state your employees are based in. Some of the most important policies are outlined here, however, all federal policies should be included in your handbook.
Creating a new handbook only takes a few minutes. And it’s easy. You can get started by answering a few interactive questions about your company. A few examples:
In all businesses, building a strong company culture can be essential to boosting morale and aligning employees. Arguably, it is even more key for small businesses. With a small team, the impact of a strong culture is made more apparent. Here are some important things to remember when building a strong company culture.
Evaluate Your Current Culture
Since company culture is primarily determined at the top, here are some key questions to ask your leadership team to evaluate where your culture currently stands:
Set Your Goals
From your answers to the previous questions, pinpoint what is lacking and make goals to improve on those areas. This could mean having clearer communication for employee expectations, defining company values, or creating monthly team-building activities to build morale.
Respecting Employee's Work-Life Balance
A large part of communicating that your company values its employees is demonstrating respect for their lives outside of work. A strong employee handbook can allow this to be done in a clear, effective way. Company leaders should detail expectations, but also be open about their own work-life balance to build transparency. Trust is key in a great company, and when leaders show genuine empathy for employee responsibilities at home, a foundation for transparency and cooperation is built.
The Link Between Culture and Happiness
Many surveys and analyses of employee feedback indicate that the majority of employees care as much about the culture of the company they work for as their salary. In small companies, culture is frequently undervalued. In order to reduce turnovers and increase recruitment, companies need to understand that there is a link between strong culture and the one important question employees think about regularly: “Am I happy working here?”.
Understanding and Communicating Your Company’s Culture
In order to effectively communicate your company's culture, you need to understand it. By asking your team the right questions, setting goals, and valuing employees, you can be sure to be on the right track.
Communicating this culture is an essential next step toward aligning with your employees. Not every culture is a good fit for every employee, and being honest upfront is important for making sure you are hiring employees best aligned not only with the skills a company requires, but the culture of the workplace. Research shows that when looking for a job, 77% of people polled would consider a company’s culture and work atmosphere before applying. By clearly communicating your company culture up front, you can ensure that more candidates who align with your team values will apply for a position.
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