Employee handbooks can seem as if they are set in stone. But in fact, they need to be reviewed frequently – at least once per year. Upon review, they need to be updated as necessary.
Why? Because policies and expectations change. Employees need fair and consistent expectations, both for performance and conduct. They need to understand when they will receive performance reviews, for example. They also need to understand the steps to take if they encounter a challenging situation regarding someone’s conduct. Your employee handbook is the driving force behind expectations in your office — make sure it stays updated.
A Handbook Sets Expectations for Performance and Conduct
A thorough review will look at two major areas. The first is employee performance-related. Employees need to know onboarding procedures. A handbook can underscore the procedures and contain necessary forms, for example.
Employees need to know the performance review structure. As your Human Resources team reviews the performance review section, it’s a good opportunity to make sure employee performance reviews are in line with Federal and state laws and regulations.
They need to know the policies for benefits such as paid time off (PTO), including vacation. Employees should be reminded of safety standards at work as well. The employee handbook can contain reiterations of policies re workplace standards and safety from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The handbook can also itemize the company’s policies for conduct in several areas, including drugs and alcohol, sexual harassment, progressive discipline, and more.
A handbook can include steps for employees to take if they think sexual harassment is occurring. If your company tests for drugs and alcohol, a handbook should mention the importance of a drugs- and alcohol-free workplace, for employee safety.
Benefits of Having an Employee Handbook
An employee handbook is a resource that protects both employee and employer. Employees have clear expectations and can access the handbook either solely or in conjunction with Human Resources. Clear expectations contribute to increased retention of employees. They can also attract new hires.
How Barracuda Consulting Can Help
Revising an employee handbook can be complex. Issues on human resources compliance and sexual harassment, for instance, change in sometimes unpredictable ways. Our team can help review your employee handbook to diagnose any existing issues and revise to clear up employee confusion and protect you against potential headaches. Our team provides your company with employee handbooks that are fully customized to your needs.