The Difference Between A Pet Sitting Employee Handbook vs. Training Manual

One of the very first things that pet sitting and dog walking business owners find themselves trying to struggle through is the pet sitting employee handbook. The realization that they need to create this massive document with everything under the sun, usually ends up paralyzing them in fear.

It is information overload.

How are you {the business owner} mean to create a document that is going to include EVERYTHING in your brain about your business… without forgetting a single detail?

pet sitting employee manual

ANSWER: You are not supposed to. People go to college for this stuff. Like seriously. They learn how to write technically. They learn Human Resources. We are not meant to be doing all of this!

“Employee Handbooks and Training Manuals are so much fun to write!”  SAID NO ONE EVER! 🙂

 

There Are Too Many Legalities!

I mean there are so many legal policies that you have to include, just because you are a real life business and wanting to abide by the law… but you don’t know where to start with that?

“Equal opportunity employment” is maybe the only thing you can barely come up with in your mind.

Then, you have all these nuances that your company does, it is mind blowing to keep track of them all. So you decide to start writing down everything you do in your day to day pet sitting life.

WOAH! That list gets long, real fast… and then you are left wondering, “Well, isn’t most of this common sense?”

The answer is NO.

Further, if you want to properly train the people who you hire, and hold them to your standards, it all needs to be in writing. You can’t enforce a corrective action for an employee based off something you “said.” That could be a lawsuit waiting to happen….

So you are back at square one….

Sigh.

This is overwhelming, isn’t it?

Well, I have news for you. Good-news! But first, I need to introduce you to the idea of two separate documents. An Employee Handbook and a Training Manual.

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The Difference Between a Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Employee Handbook vs Training Manual. 

Wait?!?!? There are TWO documents I need?

If you are thinking that right now, I was too when I first learned about it all. Why not just make one giant document with everything and the kitchen sink in it?

Read on…

Your dog walking and pet sitting employee handbook is the foundation of your business. It is the first company document your new employees read. The contents of your pet sitting or dog walking employee handbook will give your employees a sense of the type of culture you have, your philosophies, your mission, your rules and expectations.

Your employee handbook will also include critical company and legal policies. Including these in your handbook and making sure your new employees fully understand them will protect your company. It’s important to go through your employee handbook with your new employees, not just include it in their on boarding packet that they will throw in the corner and never look at again.

Your handbook will outline things like pay dates, sick leave, dress code, and other expectations. It is a living document that you will change as your grow and see the need to update, change or add to your policies and processes.

Your handbook is not meant to be your training manual. Your employee handbook policies may mirror things in your training manual, but the employee handbook contains the policies whereas the training manual goes into explicit detail on items requiring training.

Your employee handbook is not your employee agreement. Like the training manual, you may mirror some items, but the Employee agreement is a separate document that goes into explicit detail on things like non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, company property handling and return upon termination, and confidentiality. It’s a good idea to hire an attorney in your state to draw up the employee agreement.

 

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But what about the Employee Quick Start Program?

The Employee Quick Start Program includes the outline of an Employee Manual. It is like a mini Employee Handbook and Training Manual all wrapped into one. It is a great program, with a great document that has already helped over 100 pet sitters. It is a good JUMP start to get you going… It is a great option for the first draft of the starting literature for your business. But it is only a start.

 

So Now Let Me Finish This For You…

I have both documents. For you. To download. Right now.

You are happy now, aren’t you? =)  I am all about solving problems, not creating more for you. So let me wrap this ridiculously long blog post by telling you this. These documents that I have made are different from anything else out there. I will bullet point it for you:

1. They were written by a technical writer. That is someone who writes manuals like this for a living. Here would be an example:

3.5 Anti-Discrimination Policy / Anti-Harassment Policy

{YOUR COMPANY} management is committed to providing a work environment in which employees are treated with dignity, decency, and respect. To support a discrimination-free work environment, YOUR COMPANY maintains strict policies against discrimination and harassment.

All employees are covered by these anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. Employees are expected to comply with these policies and to take appropriate measures to ensure that prohibited conduct does not occur. 

Acts of discrimination or harassment, or retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or participates in an investigation of such a report, may be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including termination of employment. (See section 10.3 Whistleblower Policy.)

 

2. All downloads come with instructions on how to personalize the documents to your company, find all the places that need your attention (to put in your company info) and how to change the look and feel. Here are the first two paragraphs of that document:

There are certain instances in the Employee Manual and the Training Handbook where you are able to include your Company’s Name, the name of the owner of your business and other details relating to the management and running of your Pet Sitting business. This enables you to personalize these documents to make them specifically relevant to your business.

All instances of information that needs to be changed to personalize these documents are included in curly brackets: { and }. This makes it easy for you to find and replace specific content.

3. The same person that wrote this one page explanation of all the ways to customize the document is also available to help Jump Consulting clients to typeset the document if they run into any margin, typeset, formatting problems

4. The industry standard is an Employee Manual/Handbook with everything all in one place. With the documents I am offering, they total over 40 pages each.
5. Aaddendum. The Employee Handbook comes with extras like the “Grievance Form” and Company Property Checklist.
So see? Your entire problem is all solved and you don’t have to worry. Click below to see more of your options. You can have these documents downloaded in 60 seconds! 🙂
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Want To Take It A Step Further?

I heard pet sitters learning that the Red Cross was going away with their Pet First Aid/CPR first aid classes. That’s too bad becasue being able to train your staff to know if a pet needs medical attention and assess a situation when you aren’t there is important.

But there is another group, that I feel might even be a better solution than the Red Cross. In the past, you had to carve our hours of a day to go through training and it was often only held once a month, if you were lucky. This program through Pro Pet Hero actually trains your staff online… on their own time. Pretty neat huh? I contacted them and arranged a coupon code for you to use.  CODE: petsitter for a discount off. 🙂 You’re Welcome. 🙂

First Aid and CPR for Pets

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