Is It Time to Update Your Employee Handbook?

Is It Time to Update Your Employee Handbook?

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Your employee handbook sets the standards to which all managers and employees must adhere. 

It’s a reflection of company culture and helps new employees acclimate to their new work environment. More importantly, it’s there to help your employees and managers understand company policies, as well as employee and industry standards. 

However, an employee handbook is not always “evergreen.” 

They need to remain relevant and therefore require updating to ensure your company policies don’t become outdated. 

In today’s blog we help you decide if it is time to update your employee handbook.

Why You Need Regular Employee Handbook Updates

It’s not uncommon for business owners to create an employee handbook with the best of intentions and then leave them to collect dust. 

However, your employee handbook should be shared and referred to often. Additionally, updating your handbook keeps you compliant with changing laws related to employment and industry-specific standards. Without an updated handbook, you can face consequences that range from fines to ongoing employee turnover. 

Your standards are also exposed to inconsistencies which can lead to lawsuits for wrongful dismissal. When your handbook is up to date, you mitigate risk by clearly outlying all rules, policies, and procedures. Ultimately, a sound employee handbook keeps your entire staff aligned with your company’s mission and culture.

When You Need to Update Your Employee Handbook

Because the work world is constantly changing, your employee standards can face challenges if you fail to change along with it. 

Look no further than Covid. Changing laws surrounding the pandemic forced business owners to adopt new safety protocols and guidelines. 

Common reasons you need updates to your employee handbook include:

  • Changes to federal, state, or local laws
  • Introduction of new federal, state, or local laws
  • Changes to industry regulations
  • Introduction of new industry regulations
  • Company growth that increases your employee numbers which could in turn impact the laws you must follow
  • Changes to your company structure or management and the roles and responsibilities of your management team
  • Opening new locations or branches in different states with different laws
  • Introduction of new company policies to better reflect your mission, brand, or culture
  • Expansion of operations
  • Introduction of improved security
  • Changing employee views or expectations
  • Introducing new workforce options such as flex hours or remote work
  • Changes to processes that require revisions to policies or that must be included as new policies
  • Events that impact your handbook such as lawsuits
  • Updating language and terms used to keep the wording universal

As a business owner, it behooves you to schedule regular updates every year. You may find that the current iteration is good as is. However, considering the changing needs of the workforce and your business, an employee handbook refresh may be in order. 

About Focus HR, Inc. 

Focus HR, Inc. uncomplicates the people side of business by providing small business owners with outsourced HR, project HR, and Leadership Coaching. For more information, please contact us today! If you liked this post, please subscribe to our blog. You can opt out at any time. To learn more about FocusHR and for updates, please like our Facebook page and follow us on LinkedIn.