Updating Employee Handbooks
- On 18 July 2016
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
Although not required by law, the Employee Handbook is the single most important HR best practice there is! It provides a strong foundation to clearly communicate to all employees your company policies, setting the stage for company guidelines and employee behavior expectations. The Employee Handbook also serves to protect your company against a number of potential legal challenges.
Employment laws change year over year. It is paramount that your Employee Handbook be reviewed on an annual basis to include these new laws that may potentially conflict with some of your existing company policies. ECG can help you craft an employee handbook that covers all the necessary topics, while also matching your company’s specific needs and goals.
Every employer, regardless of size, should have an employee handbook. Positive employee relations are central to the success of even the smallest companies, and a good employee handbook sets clear guidelines for the employer/employee relationship. For example, your employee handbook should set clear standards for employee behavior, while also providing assurances regarding how you will treat your employees. This fosters an atmosphere of trust and communication, which leads to a more productive and positive workplace. Your employee handbook can also cover topics such as vacation time, attendance policy and family time. These topics may seem basic, but clearly outlining your policies provides your employees with the understanding and assurance that your policies are fair, consistent and in their best interest.
The handbook also becomes a legal document, outlining a range of policies and procedures that are important to discuss with your employees. Your employee handbook should include your “employment at-will” statement, your ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) policy, EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) policy, and your harassment policy, just to name a few. When you provide your employees with such a document, they sign an acknowledgment of receipt, which confirms that you have made them aware of the policies you are legally obligated to include.
Now is a great time to review and revise your employee handbook. It is important to make sure that the language in your handbook is up to date with the most recent employment law changes, and there have been many!