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The Problems With Creating Your Own Pet Sitting Employee Manual

Developing a pet sitting employee manual may be one of the most overwhelming projects you undergo in your pet sitting company. Yet, unfortunately, the employee manual is necessary in your business. Without one, how are you able to regulate your employees processes and ensure that your companies policies are being withheld? That’s why there is so much emphasis on making sure the employee manual is full of all the different components of your company creating a complete and well done manual.

Today we will discuss some of the problems with creating your own employee manual:

  • Time
  • Constantly Changing
  • Legal Jargon
  • Including a Training Manual
  • Professional Writing

But don’t worry! We will also discuss solutions.

The Problems With Creating Your Own Pet Sitting Employee Manual

Pet Sitting Employee Manual

Time

Creating an employee manual takes TIME. A lot of it. Sometimes, it can even take up to a year. This is because you’ll be writing, conducting research, gathering helpful resources, and consulting with experts. These experts may include an HR representative, lawyer, editor, and a typesetter. It takes time to gather all of the necessary information to develop a complete employee manual. Once you have it all put together, you’ll need to have it lawyer reviewed which can also take time.

Ultimately, because this is such a large project, you’ll be spending a large portion of your time working on this document. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you should be prepared to make a major time commitment!

 

The cost of creating your own pet sitting and dog walking employee handbook

 

Constantly Changing

Business is ALWAYS changing, and as this happens, you’ll need to update your employee manual accordingly. If you decide to change a policy or procedure, you’ll have to update your manual. What if state laws change? You’ll have to update your manual. If anything slightly changes with your employees, you’ll have to update you manual.

It’s crucial that all of your new hires have the correct information.

With that being said, it can be extremely difficult to stay on top with all of the changes in your business. Ensure that you review your employee manual often so that you can make necessary changes as needed. You don’t want it to become outdated!

Legal Jargon

Employee manuals are not just all about your business practices and procedures. There’s lots of legal mumbo-jumbo that has to be in there too. This includes portions such as jury duty and equal opportunity employment. In order to write this, it will be very research-heavy and therefore, time consuming. Consider the fact that you will have to spend time not only researching the law, but interpreting what you’re reading. Then you’ll have to finally narrow down exactly what to include in the document. This is where having a lawyer on your team becomes VERY helpful!

Employee Handbook and Training Manual

Including A Training Manual

When creating your pet sitting employee manual, you’ll have to decide if you want to include your training manual as well. What’s even the difference?

While I personally think they should be two separate documents, some pet sitting companies choose to include it. If you decide to include the training manual, you’ll want to be sure that your document presents all of the relevant information in an order that makes sense. Or if you decide not to include the manual, you’ll want to decide which information you want to include in each document.

Professional Writing

The writing used in an employee manual or training manual is not nearly as fun as writing blogs. Oftentimes it can be difficult to write professionally, in a way that your document is well-respected. Again this is where having a lawyer and an editor on your team comes in handy. Remember that this document will be given to your new hires, and will represent and be the foundation of your business. You want to make sure that it paints you and your company in the best light!

So I know this sounds like a lot, and you may be wondering when you’re ever going to have the time to undergo this overwhelming project. If you just simply don’t have the time to create your own pet sitting employee manual, consider outsourcing the task. We currently offer a fully customizable pet sitting employee manual where you can input your information and be DONE. You won’t have to worry about missing anything, as our document is already lawyer reviewed! Learn more here: http://jumpconsulting.net/pet-sitting-employee-manual-handbook/

If you do want to continue with creating your own pet sitting employee manual, more power to you! Just be sure to consider the costs of creating your own employee manual here.

Employee Manuals

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. As well as, the pet sitting training manual. 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} meant to create a document that is going to include EVERYTHING in your brain about your business… without forgetting a single detail?

employee handbook

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!

There are so many legal policies that you have to include because you are a real life business and wanting to abide by the law. But, figuring out where to start with that can be difficult.

“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 good-news! But first, I need to introduce you to the idea of two separate documents.

An Employee Handbook and a Training Manual.

Training Manual & Employee Handbook

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

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 Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Training Manual

Your handbook is not meant to be your training manual. However, your employee handbook policies may mirror things in your training manual. 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.

 

But what about the Employee Quick Start Program?

The Employee Quick Start Program includes the outline of an Employee Manual. It’s 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. You could say it’s 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.

  • 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.)

Benefits of My Documents

  • 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.

  • 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

 

  • 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.

 

  • Addendum. 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! 🙂
Employee Manuals

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 because 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 out 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. 🙂

 

Pro Pet Hero