We’ve waited patiently for summer after a long winter, so now is a great time to dive into the deep end and take necessary action to review/revise the handbook that you have in place or even to create one.
Employee handbooks include necessary legal statements, outline employment expectations, relay your corporate vision, and define benefit packages. They unify employees and management and set consistent parameters for workplace standards and behaviors.
If you already have a handbook in place, it is recommended that you review it at least annually to make sure it is current, particularly because federal, state, and even local regulations are changing at a faster pace than ever. In addition, company dynamics are changing frequently due to mergers and acquisitions, international expansion, and staffing/workforce shifting.
If you don’t have an employee handbook, it is never too late to put one in place. Not having one leaves the company open to liability and possible lawsuits. It describes important legal and workplace policies and practices that employees need to access. Here are just a few important points that must be defined in your handbook (applicable to your state/local entity):
Anti-Harassment and Sexual Harassment
Fair Labor Standards Act
Equal Opportunity Employment
Electronic Communications including Social Media
Family and Medical Leave Act
Affordable Care Act
Companies should be particularly attentive to state and local laws on leave entitlements, background checks, wage and hour requirements, as well as newer areas including medical marijuana and other drug-related laws, bullying, and guns in the workplace.
An employee handbook is not a “one size fits all”. There is no cookie cutter version that you can pull off the shelf (or off the internet) and give to employees. It is a highly customized, legal document that must be created and monitored carefully to assure that information is accurate and current.
There are many questions that a human resources professional must keep in mind and be ready to answer when developing/revising the handbook:
Should it be digital or available in hardcopy format?
How will it be communicated to employees?
Should I have separate HR policies, or will a handbook suffice?
Does the handbook support the company’s culture?
Are the leaders trained in understanding and managing the policies for their staff?
Should legal review the handbook?
How can I hold employees accountable for reading the handbook?
At The Bradley Partnerships (TBP) we can help you answer these questions because every company is different. TBP are experts in writing, revising, and communicating employee information for your employee handbook.
We will take the burden off of you and prepare a highly customized handbook that fits your company’s needs and helps you to comply with ever-changing workplace laws and regulations. Contact us at www.bradleypartnerships.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org