You Can Judge an Employee Handbook by What It Covers

It’s a commonly neglected business tool, one that too often collects dust, gets marked with coffee stains or winds up under a stack of newspapers in the breakroom. Too bad, because the good-ol’ employee handbook is intended to help your workplace run more smoothly, orient new employees quickly and reduce the risk of costly legal battles. Too often given short shrift, this vital document can play a crucial role by communicating workplace policies and employee responsibilities. The result can be a more productive organization and a more profitable business.

What belongs in a rent-to-own employee handbook?

Employee handbook policies will be as varied as businesses themselves. You should consult with your attorney to understand what should—and should not—be included. Here is some content common to many manuals:

  • What is your policy on sick leave and vacation? On attendance and tardiness?
  • May employees drink alcohol at lunch? Will you be testing for drug use?
  • Will the employer be inspecting desks, email and voicemail messages?
  • What insurance and other benefits will employees enjoy?
  • How can employees ask for pay corrections related to overtime?
  • In addition to the above, many handbooks clearly lay out policies prohibiting workplace harassment, as well as the gathering of any genetic or family medical information.

Rent-to-own certainly has some unique provisions that employees must follow and those should be considered for inclusion in the handbook. Such targeted information can help your newbies get up to speed in short order such as APRO’s Rent-to-Own Code of Ethics and Collection Practices and APRO’s Glossary of Terms specific to rent-to-own.

Your company’s handbook might also include links to some other content available on APRO’s website that might be particularly helpful to new employees, including the APRO Education Foundation’s scholarship program specifically for rent-to-own employees and their families; a plethora of videos by the industry’s expert-in-chief, Ed Winn III, which address a wide range of issues pertinent to RTO employees; news and information to help employees feel like part of the industry; and much more.

APRO also offers a sample Rent-to-Own Policies and Procedures Manual, which covers compensation and benefits, employee conduct, safety policies and more. The manual—which is available to APRO members only and is free—is easy to modify so that it’s specific to your company. To obtain a copy, contact APRO at 800/204-2776; or by email at