To employees, employee handbooks are typically known as those lengthy documents that contain all the company rules and policies. Though your employees may not be reading your employee handbook cover to cover, it is imperative that you update it with the most current information to protect your business. One word could be the difference between a successful business and a lawsuit.
Why do you need an employee handbook?
An employee handbook protects your company. It spells out your policies and informs employees on specific details about your company. They give your employees a set of rules to follow while at the office. Depending on your business, you may have specific sets of rules and it is crucial that your employees be cognizant of them. Workplace conduct, federal regulations, information about employee benefits and events, and various other topics can be addressed in your handbook.
The contents of your handbook are important, and every employee must receive one upon hire. Make sure your employees sign an acknowledgment stating they received the handbook. It is their responsibility to read it and heed its contents.
How often should you update it?
It is standard to update your employee handbook every year because the workplace is a dynamic environment. There are several factors that influence handbooks, including new legislation and trends in the workplace. Some employers choose to update their handbooks every six months or if an immediate need arises. Annual changes are necessary to include the most recent laws and regulations that affect an employee’s work environment.
What are the risks?
Simply having a handbook does not exempt you from updating it. Clarity is always key. Any nebulous sections could negatively impact you if an employee were to sue your company. You can’t prevent being sued, but a handbook provides documentation that will benefit you if a lawsuit does begin. Lawsuits can also give your company a negative reputation. Is it worth risking your reputation to neglect to maintain an employee handbook? We don’t think so.
You also create disorganization within your company. Your employees will be uninformed about specific information and don’t know where to find it if your company lacks a handbook. You should strive to make your employees feel comfortable by making this information easily available to them.
Improve your work environment with RTR Consulting. Contact our human resource experts to learn more about updating your employee handbook today.