When’s the last time you updated your handbook? If it’s been a while, or worse, you can’t remember, then it’s time to pull it out, dust it off and start updating. But where should you begin? And what areas should you focus on? Here’s a look:
#1: Buzzwords and jargon.
As a Hartford, CT, human resources consulting firm, Stewart Staffing knows it’s important to get rid of as much of these as you can. When a new hire comes on board and picks it up, it needs to be easy for them to understand. So skip the legalese, buzzwords and corporate jargon. If you have to include a phrase that’s unique to your company or industry, just make sure you offer a definition for it.
Make it clear how employees should address and handle any complaints. In your handbook, list some examples and be sure to provide clear protocol as to who the employee should contact. Doing this will provide you with a line of defense against potential discrimination and other legal claims. Above all, make sure your handbook provisions don’t discourage employees from reporting problems.
#3: Social media and online privacy.
With technology constantly changing, it’s of particular importance that you focus on and update this area in your handbook regularly. You need to ensure that your email, cell phone and Internet usage policies are clear for employees.
#4: Federal laws.
Laws and accommodations change every year. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your policies surrounding employees with disabilities, equal employment, non-discrimination, and family medical leave are all up to date.
#5: Commit to regular updates.
Once these areas are updated in your handbook, commit to making regular updates, at least once a year. Remember, your handbook is a dynamic document that should change over time. This is especially important as laws evolve. Before you finalize your handbook, also be sure to have your legal counsel review it prior to re-issuing it to employees.
#6: Require signed acknowledgements.
Once it’s complete, you should require that all employees sign a written acknowledgement that they received and understand what’s in the handbook. Be sure to keep copies of signed forms.
Need more help with these or other HR-related issues?
Call the team at Stewart Staffing. As a Hartford, CT, human resources consulting firm, we can help you overcome HR headaches and ensure your company isn’t vulnerable to HR-related litigation – all without the overhead of a full-time HR person. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more, please contact Stewart Staffing today.