Is the Employee Handbook like Spring Cleaning?

Open the windows and let the fresh air in! Spring is here to stay! Open your employee handbook and see what is missing.

“One size does not fit all” when it comes to an employee handbook. Changes to federal and state employment laws make updating the employee handbook even more critical.

I hate cleaning windows, don’t you? Did you hire an expert to clean inside and out? Let an experience HR Consultant write or re-write your handbook inside and out.  Tighten up on best practices and federal and state laws to reduce vulnerability and risk.

Keep it concise and understandable or your employees won’t read it.

Make sure the language is clear with enough wiggle room for management without going crazy with the laws. This is your companies way to introduce themselves along with the history and culture of your business to establish an employer-employee relationship. Chores for Spring:

  • Clean the windows
  • Clean the walls and baseboards
  • Vacuum and dust up those dust bunnies
  • Wash and shine your floors
  • Disinfect and overhaul your bathroom
  • Clean your stove and refrigerator
  • Dust the blinds, shades and fans
  • Polish your furniture so it shines
  • Treat your washer and dryer with a deep clean
  • Flip that mattress and buy some new bedding

Does this all seem worthwhile to you?  Tedious – Time Consuming – You have better things to do with your time. (Off to the beach, travel the country, etc.) Employee Handbooks protect the employer and inform the employee of what is expected of them in their time while employed at the company. Ensure your details are covered.

  • Include hours, holidays, and vacation rules, anti-harassment policies
  • Spell out what kind of environment you offer to employees
  • What should you wear or not wear to work
  • What happens when you screw up

Here are some tips on what to include:

  • A statement of commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • A policy about how to handle employee discipline including anti-violence rules and complaint procedure for employee gripes
  • An employment at will statement Policy on drugs and alcohol in the workplace – drug testing as applicable
  • A policy about confidentiality and whistle-blowers
  • Work hours, overtime and benefits
  • A policy on social media use
  • Fair employment practices including EEOC and anti-harassment

With the increase in social media and electronic devices there is no expectation of privacy.  Workers should be aware that if they use the Internet or email from a work computer, it may be monitored.

“Employees are the biggest cyber-security risk a company faces, and its important to have a staff that understands the risks of downloading an app onto a phone containing employer information or clicking a link in and unsolicited email,” said Joshua Druckerman, White Harris LLC.

Changes to laws require you to review your employee handbook yearly.  So the next time you think about Spring cleaning – Think employee handbook and contact an HR expert.

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