As a small business owner, one of the best things you can do for your employees is to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Of course, that happens with plenty of open and clear communication. But, for the more complex issues including health care, workers' compensation and non-discrimination policies, an employee handbook can go a long way.

Even if you're a business with only a handful of people, an employee handbook is a vital tool for both you and your employees to ensure important policies and procedures get followed.

If this sounds like something you'd like to implement in your office, keep reading.

What to Include in Your Employee Handbook

Ok, you've decided to create a handbook, which is great. But you might be staring at a blinking cursor on your Google doc thinking, now what?

Don't worry, you're not alone.

Creating an employee handbook from scratch can feel daunting, but we've got a few tips to get you started:

Know Your Mission Statement

Good employee handbooks aren't just about rules and regulations, they should also highlight your company's goals and values as well as what you hope to accomplish together.

Great handbooks (the ones that employees love to read) keep those goals and values in mind throughout the document. Zappos, the online shoe retailer, is one brand that's often highlighted as having a great set of core values for employees. One year, they made their employee handbook into a comic book. Productivity tool, Trello is also known for their innovative approaches to their employee handbook.

Highlight Your State and Local Laws

Also, look to your state and local laws and regulations. You want to include any information pertaining to the workplace that employees should know and that you're required to follow by law.

Here's one example; Colorado workers' comp rules state that employers display a Notice of Employer of Injury Sign. You should include that in your handbook so your employees both know their rights and that you're following the proper regulations.

Something else to consider, especially when it comes to workers' compensation is your marijuana policy. While many states allow for recreational marijuana use it can have different ramifications in the workplace, so know and cite your policy for employees.

Gather Important Work & Benefit Documents

You should also have a good handle on your own employee benefits and rules too. That means you should know what kind of benefits you're offering to employees for hire — that includes full time, part time, contract and even internships.

You should also get copies of any documents your employees might have to fill out, from tax forms to health forms so they understand how everything works. List all of your employee benefits from paid family leave to holidays and time off in your handbook.

Also include information about payroll, when employees can expect to get paid, and who to contact if there are any errors along the way.

Think Through Standards of Conduct

While Federal and State regulations are important, you probably have some of your own rules you'd like employees to follow as well. This can run the gamut from a simple dress code to more complex social media policies.

Before you dig into your handbook, you'll need to think about the regulations you want to set as well as how you plan to enforce them. It's critical this information, which can get a bit fuzzy in real life, is clearly written down to avoid potential conflict.

Keep Your Employees Protected

All this information will help you get started with the basics of getting your employee handbook drafted.

Remember, it doesn't have to be a work of art, but having this information written down in a place that is accessible to you and your employees can help ensure you're both protected over the long run.

Of course, that shouldn't end with your employee handbook. Make sure you've got the proper workers' comp policy to cover your employees if there's an accident or illness at work too.

We've got all the facts on Colorado workers' comp rules and regulations to help you find the best policy for your needs.

Get in touch with Cake today, and you'll get a quote in 5 minutes.