5 Reasons To Update Your Employee Handbook

When was the last time you took the time to update your employee handbook? Not sure? It might be time to review your employee handbook and update it appropriately.

Employee handbook sitting on wooden desk

An employee handbook outlines the policies, procedures, and rules that guide your company and your employees. Writing an employee handbook is a major task that covers any and all topics that impact your business. In your employee handbook, you need to cover a lot of information in a clear, concise, and fair format that’s customized for your business. Then, once you write it, it’s your job to maintain it and update it when necessary.

Do You Know Why An Employee Handbook Is So Important?

Employee handbooks cover topics like workplace bullying, payroll, drug and alcohol policies, standards of conduct, appearance, schedules, safety and security, overtime, disciplinary actions, nepotism, harassment, employee classifications, industry regulations, etc. The employee handbook serves to protect both the company and the employee. If there are any changes in topics covered in your handbook, it’s important to address them – even if they are really small. A simple oversight could land you in hot water or in the middle of a lawsuit.

Here are 5 reasons to update your employee handbook:

  1. Laws Change – Local, state, and federal rules, regulations, and laws are often updated. It’s your job to ensure that your company meets all laws that apply to your business. This may include, but is not limited to, topics like minimum wage, family leave laws, gender pay gaps, equal employment, overtime regulations, etc.
  2. You Don’t Have An Employee Handbook – You do have an employee handbook right? If you don’t have one it’s time to write one immediately. Also, if you haven’t even looked at your employee handbook in a few years or more, it’s time to start fresh.
  3. Company Changes – Did your company make any major changes lately? If you rebranded, reorganized, or refocused your company, make the necessary changes to your employee handbook so that everyone is on the same page.
  4. Information Is Missing – Did you just read through your employee handbook and realize that you missed an important topic like employee classifications, termination policies, or unemployment? Add these topics before they cause any issues.
  5. Technology Changes – Technology is a major part of our lives. Every year something new and wild enters the social world or the working world. Topics like data privacy, social media, or smartphone usage need to be addressed as they become relevant in your workplace.

Common Employment Lawsuits That You Want To Avoid

Whenever you onboard a new hire or you update your handbook, you need to ensure that every single employee receives and reads a copy of it. Have them sign that they have read and understand this important document.

Employees are entitled to a copy of the employee handbook and one always needs to be available for people to refer to just in case they need any clarifications on your company’s policies and procedures.

A good rule of thumb is to review your employee handbook annually with your legal team. If you notice anything that needs an update, take care of it ASAP.

Is it time to update your employee handbook? Make this a top priority.

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