When was the last time your organization’s employee handbook was updated? If the date is unknown, then it’s way past time to make the necessary changes. Think of it as an organizational “New Year’s Resolution.” If the employee handbook remains out of date, the chances that it could become a harmful liability increases exponentially.
Employee Handbook’s Purpose
It is important to note that employee handbooks should not be drafted as employment contracts. They should be written in clear, easy-to-understand language so that employees can quickly find information about:
- Attendance policies
- Employee conduct (within and outside work)
- Disciplinary action
However, employers should be careful to include language stating that all information found within the employee handbook is subject to change without notice. Once the handbook is updated to reflect these changes, make sure it addresses up-to-date issues.
For some organizations, current affairs do not always appear to apply. That is a dangerous position to take. “Hot topics” like the #MeToo movement and LBGTQ may not impact the organization today but tomorrow. The best policy is to be proactive.
This year make sure to have clearly stated stances on the following issues:
As our “real-time” digital world grows, so too does the chance to cause irrevocable damage to reputations and, therefore, livelihoods. Always using caution when posting on social channels is the best policy. Therefore, always be crystal clear on what is and is not acceptable in online behavior in the employee handbook.
With more and more states legalizing medical marijuana, all organizations must have an updated drug policy reflecting current laws and the organizational stance in relation to those laws.
During the past year, active shooter situations have touched all types of gatherings. Places of work are no exception. Ensure updated policies and procedures in place to be prepared in the event lives are at stake.
As discussed in a previous blog, to stay competitive and retain and attract talent, organizations should consider flexible work options. If the organization is in the position to allow telecommuting and/or remote workers, make sure to have clear guidelines, so everyone is on the same page.
State Specific Legislation
Make sure to address state-specific laws in the employee handbook (e.g., “ban the box” and conceal and carry laws) to comply with local laws.
In addition to these 2019 issues, review the employee handbook completely and ensure all information is current. This way, your organization will establish the right expectations with all employees and be proactive, mitigating risk.
SACS Consulting Can Ensure Your Employee Handbook is Updated for 2020
SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc. can help your organization establish sound HR policies and procedures to improve workplace culture, help prevent disagreements, and make certain everyone is treated equally. Contact Us to find out how we can help put you back in control of Human Resources!