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Five Steps to Starting the New Year with an Updated Employee Handbook

by John Stebbins on Jan 4, 2019 10:02:55 AM

With the dynamic nature of employment laws and regulations, it’s critical to stay on top of changes every year to remain in compliance. And the start of 2019 marks a good time to review your current employee handbook – and update it with the latest requirements.

What’s the best way to include all the necessary information and communicate it to employees? Here are five tips.

1. Be Clear: Use plain language–not legalese–that’s easy to read so that the handbook is user-friendly. If the handbook is only for full-time employees, determine how you’ll communicate things like benefits to part-time workers. And be sure to spell out that the handbook is not a contract of employment and that the contents can be changed at any time.

2. Set Expectations: Clearly define the expectations of employees in various aspects of their employment, such as attendance. And make sure you enforce the standards consistently. So everyone is on the same page, ask employees to sign and return an acknowledgement page.

3. Give Examples: When explaining certain policies like those about discipline and sexual harassment, use practical examples that employees can understand. For instance, include the types of behaviors that constitute sexual harassment. And reinforce them in any trainings you hold.

4. Get Specific: Laws like paid sick leave have been enacted in many states and localities. If you have offices in multiple locations, it may be best to include an area-specific supplement since general information will not apply to all employees.

5. Provide Contacts: When employees read a handbook, they may have questions about various aspects of the content. So they can get clarification, provide the names, titles and contact information for those in the company they can reach out to with questions.

Start the New Year off right by dusting off your handbook to be proactive in human resource management. You can also reference our list of “must-haves” for your employee handbook in this blog post. For more information about handbooks, contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 888-865-4470.

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