While the term “spring-cleaning” often provides motivation to clean and organize items around the office, it also can be a great reminder for Human Resources departments regarding their Employee Handbook.
Regardless of your company’s size, regularly reviewing employment policies and procedures is becoming increasingly important as workplace legislation and regulations continue to change.
While this list is certainly not all-inclusive, here are 6 key areas to focus on when it comes to reviewing your employee handbook:
- Analyze What Is Actually Being Enforced: It’s important to be honest in assessing whether current internal company policies and procedures are in line with what’s actually being practiced. If you have a policy in place that is not consistently enforced as it is written, that can cause problems down the line if your organization is ever faced with a lawsuit.
- Address “Hot-Button” Topics: While it’s important to review your entire handbook, there are certainly areas that may need to be referred to more than others during the year. This may include policies on harassment, discrimination, leave, drugs and alcohol, and sexual harassment. Be sure that these policies are updated to reflect the most current federal and state laws.
- Aim For Flexibility: As your review your handbook, take the time to review the language to ensure that your organization maintains flexibility in interpreting and applying policies. In the end, general terms (such as “may,” “typically,” etc.) may work better than more limiting language.
- Defining the Employment Relationship: Make sure that the handbook includes a clear statement that the employment relationship is not a contract but “at will” and may be terminated at any time with or without cause.
- Check Local and State-Specific Policies: Depending on the location of your company’s headquarters and the residence of some remote workers, you may need to spend time reviewing whether there are any local or state-specific policies that must be added or updated, such as paid sick leave.
- Align With Company Culture: With companies spending more and more time building and promoting their company culture, it’s important not to overlook how the employee handbook can play a role. This important document does not need to be viewed as a rule-book that only states what employees cannot do. You may want to spend time updating the format and tone of the handbook to be consistent with the company culture that you are trying to implement.
I hope that you find these ideas helpful.
If you have any questions on how CBG Benefits can help your company to create, review, update or distribute an Employee Handbook, please contact our team at 781-759-1222 or via email at info@CBGBenefits.com.