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Inheriting a small business
had seemed like a good opportunity until …

Her Brother’s Dream
Became Her Nightmare

checkbox Yes! Rush me the Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual. I understand that I can review my copy risk-free. And if I don't immediately see how to straighten out my problem employees – or confidently show them the door – you'll refund my entire purchase price. No questions asked, and I'll have no further obligation. On that basis, here's my order.
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Dear Small Business Owner,

My friend Libby had a tough few years there. She’d never married, and when the brother she doted on was diagnosed with leukemia, I worried that she’d fall apart with grief.

But she was a trooper, and I came to learn her brother Danny was too. He fought hard, and even as we could see the end was inevitable, those two put their heads together and decided he would take care of her by giving her his small wedding business.

After the funeral, everyone was so encouraging, telling Libby that she was smart and capable and could make it work just like Danny did.

And it was working – she’d had a small drop in orders in the months after Danny’s death, but since then she’d launched an effective advertising campaign that kept them all hopping to deliver the cakes and flowers and build the canopies and tents and take everything back down again and store it all neat and clean without losing any parts … Libby had the procedures down to a science.

She was proud. Not only of her own accomplishments, but of seeing Danny’s name on the sparkling clean vans as they rolled out before dawn on wedding days. “Daniel’s Dream Deliveries – We Make Your Wedding Dreams Come True!”

So … why was she waking up in the middle of the night, uncertain and worried?

Because Libby was finding out just how hard it is to have employees.

When Danny was alive he’d sometimes entertained her with stories of this employee’s weird personal habits and that employee’s bizarre excuse for not showing up to work, but he always made it sound like he had it under control.

Now it was her job to manage these people, and it was a lot harder than she’d thought. For example:
  • Paul, one of her deliverymen, always stood a little too close to her and lingered when he should be hitting the road. He asked personal questions that were borderline inappropriate. If he did this to her, Libby reasoned, he might well be doing it to members of the bridal parties. She wanted Paul gone, but can you fire someone just for being a creep?
  • Valerie, a neighbor’s kid, was assembling floral arrangements for Libby between classes at the community college. Was it Libby’s imagination, or were Valerie’s eyes sometimes glassy? Was she using drugs? Should Libby just ignore it because the floral arrangements usually turned out well enough, or should she insist that Valerie take a drug test?
  • And Ruth, the office manager, generally made the right things happen at the right time, but twice Libby had noticed orders for a weight-reduction product sitting on the fax machine. Ruth sometimes hung up the phone abruptly when Libby walked in. Was Ruth running her own business during her downtime at Libby’s office?
Strange employees and complicated employee laws
can make a mess of your small business.
checkbox With the Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual, you’ll cut through the nonsense and know exactly how to handle your most difficult personnel problems. Get your copy today!
Yes! I want an effective, professional workforce
We respect your privacy.
At her age, Libby was no stranger to confrontation. After 25 years processing insurance claims in a doctor’s office, she thought she’d seen it all.

But the problem in her small business was that nothing seemed to be clear-cut. She couldn’t decide whether she should act, or shouldn’t act, and if she did act how she should act.

And that’s why she was tossing and turning at 3 a.m.
  • Should she hire that nice young man who was also in the military reserves?
  • The time she walked in on her guffawing male employees circled around the computer monitor – were their guilty looks enough, or did she need to flat-out say that she wouldn’t tolerate them looking at porn sites?
  • Valerie was hinting that even though she was part-time, she was supposed to get vacation and sick leave. Could that be true?
Assembling a nice, taut 300-person tent seemed easy compared to these messy people problems!

Finally, the straw came that broke Libby’s back: months before, she’d had an unpleasant encounter with a driver named Jose. She’d questioned him about why he hadn’t finished his deliveries that day even though the schedule had been light. He took offense, and things escalated, and it ended with his shouting, “Maybe I should just leave!” As he stomped out the door forever, Libby had thought, Good riddance.

Now, she was holding a summons.

Apparently Jose was claiming that she discharged him unfairly because he was Hispanic.

Libby began to cry. And when she was all cried out, she called me.

“Pat,” she said wearily, “What am I going to do?”

First, I gave her the name of a good lawyer. Then, I told her about a book we publish that would clear up all the uncertainty she’d felt regarding employee relations.

“This,” I said, “Will give you a much happier life.”

She thanked me bleakly.

I thought about what a good kid Libby is. She’s a real self-starter and works as hard as it takes to produce a quality product. She’s not the type to ever hire management consultants – she’d much rather figure things out on her own. But the laws today are overwhelming for small business owners, and she’d gotten tripped up.

As promised, I immediately mailed her a copy of the Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual.

If only she’d read it sooner.

Because now, it was my turn to worry. I knew that her chances of losing in court were 70% to 80% if the wrongful discharge suit went before a jury. The average awards exceed $200,000 and often top $1 million!

And that would mean the end of Daniel’s Dream Deliveries.
Strange employees and complicated employee laws
can make a mess of your small business.
checkbox With the Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual, you’ll cut through the nonsense and know exactly how to handle your most difficult personnel problems. Get your copy today!
Yes! I want an effective, professional workforce
We respect your privacy.
The Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual would have prevented this. It solves so many of the problems small business owners face, explaining:
  • At-will employment and your iron-clad right to terminate an employee with or without cause … if you follow these exact steps.
  • Your right to require pre-employment drug testing and random drug testing thereafter … under these circumstances.
  • Employee classification: full-time, part-time, exempt, nonexempt … you can prevent wage-and-hour lawsuits and allocate benefits appropriately.
  • Cash control policy – do you know the consequences of infractions? Don’t get caught in this trap!
  • Preventing the improper use of company property, including software, databases, fax, online and long-distance services – and how to punish employees who can’t keep their hands out of your cookie jar.
  • Plain-English compensation policies, including your obligations for overtime vacations, sick pay and severance … when are you on the hook, and when is an employee exaggerating the law?
  • Keeping it professional and respectful: sexual harassment and discrimination policies.
  • How to manage leaves of absence: personal, pregnancy, disability, military, jury duty and family/medical … without breaking your budget.
  • General safety rules – common-sense rules and the ones you can’t believe are your legal obligations. Plus, your responsibility in the event of a crisis.
  • What to do when an employee behaves badly: disciplinary procedures for policy violations, up to and including termination.
But the Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual doesn’t just tell you how keep your employees in line. It includes a CD that allows you to customize and print out your very own company employee manual! Give your personalized manual to every employee, and you’ll have the ammunition you need to defend yourself in court – or even better, to send the message that it’s not worth suing you.

All this could have been Libby’s for a fraction of what it would cost to create a manual from scratch or have an attorney write one for her. And what a bargain the Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual is compared to the cost of a lawsuit!

The good news is, Jose dropped his case as mysteriously as he filed it. Libby’s attorney charged less than an arm and a leg because he’d hardly gotten started before it was all over.

The better news is, Libby took that close call as a wake-up call. She slid the Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual CD into her computer drive, and now she has an easy-to-read manual to hand every new employee and all her existing employees, too.
  • She gave it to Ruth, telling Ruth to be on the lookout for misuse of company property as described on page 8.
  • She gave it to Valerie, mentioning that random drug screening would be performed in the coming year, per page 14.
  • But she didn’t give it to Paul, because with the manual in hand she firmly terminated him in a way that forestalled lawsuits or retaliation. 

Libby is much happier today. She sometimes shares stories with me about the crazy things employees think they can get away with, but she always ends a story by saying how she successfully brought the employee back in line – or showed them the door.

Daniel’s Dream Deliveries has grown by leaps and bounds now that Libby has a team she can count on. She doesn’t do the dawn deliveries personally any more, preferring to focus on the big picture and bigger profits.

Her dreams are coming true!

Aren’t you ready for more dreams to come true, too? The Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual will ease your mind and free your company to become more efficient and profitable. Order your copy today!

Sincerely,

Pat DiDomenico
Editorial Director

Strange employees and complicated employee laws
can make a mess of your small business.
checkbox With the Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual, you’ll cut through the nonsense and know exactly how to handle your most difficult personnel problems. Get your copy today!
Yes! I want an effective, professional workforce
We respect your privacy.
P.S. Remember, there's absolutely no risk. If you don't immediately see how to straighten out your problem employees – or confidently show them the door – we'll refund your entire purchase price – no questions asked – and you'll have no further obligation.
P.P.S. You do NOT have to be at the mercy of odd employees and odder employment laws. Armed with your customized personnel manual, you'll have all the power you need to manage your workforce as you see fit – and watch your productivity zoom. Get your copy of the Do-It-Yourself Employee Manual now!