Last week we discussed 10 things that should be in every Employee Handbook, regardless of size, industry, or location. Taking a step back, why should you have to go through this process on a regular basis? What are the indicators that this is even necessary?
Date of Last Update
At a MINIMUM handbooks should be updated annually. Ideally, they should be updated as certain changes to organizational policies and employment and labor law take effect. If your current handbook has not been reviewed in over a year, it is time to sit down and go through the document, policy by policy, and compare each policy to applicable laws that have recently been amended, organizational changes, and wording to ensure that everything is as up to date and compliant as possible.
Take a look at our Top 10 Checklist for Employee Handbooks to make sure that your current handbook includes all of these important policies. If any of these are missing or are very sparsely written, they should be updated immediately as the lack of inclusion could potentially lead to legal pitfalls.
Legal Changes (City, State, Federal)
Legal changes happen on a regular basis. If your handbook hasn’t been reviewed or updated in over a year, there is a good chance that there have been a few legal updates, whether that be city, state, or federal, that will have impacted your organization. A thorough review of policies that are impacted by such regulations followed by subsequent updates will ensure that your company is legally compliant.
Organizational Changes (Operational)
Organizations go through internal changes on a regular basis. Changes such as converting from sick and vacation leave to a PTO policy, changes to wardrobe and appearance, the inclusion of telecommuting opportunities for employees and so much more can change your organization for the better. It is vital that these policy modifications be communicated in writing to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding.
Organizational Changes (Cultural)
Changes don’t always directly affect operations and business practices. Often changes that occur within your organization are cultural. New ownership can lead to a revamped mission and vision statement or a merger can result in changes to the code of ethics and standards for conduct. It is just as vital that you communicate these types of changes to your employees through an updated handbook, ensuring that everyone is in the know and agrees to adhere to such modifications.
Have your handbook reviewed at least annually, and do a complete rewrite every two years. Annual changes (or as necessary dependent on legal updates) are necessary to catch any of the five factors listed above, whereas the complete rewrite ensures that you are up to date with any and all changes and updates that affect your organization.
HRCentral is more than happy to give your handbook a thorough review, and is here to offer suggestions for changes or a rewrite. Contact us today!