For many employers, creating content for employee handbooks and policies isn’t necessarily a challenge. The difficulty actually lies in making sure content stays current, is reflective of the organization, and guides and protects the company and its employees. Here are two suggestions I’d like to offer to any supervisor, manager, or owner who wants to make sure their handbooks, procedures, and other policies are useful and helpful.
Constantly evaluate the handbook and corresponding policies.
According to the U.S. Small Business Association, a handbook should contain the following sections:
- Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and conflict of interest statements
- Anti-discrimination policies
- Work schedules
- Standards of conduct
- General employment information
- Safety and security
- Computers and technology
- Media relations
- Employee benefits
- Leave policies
Additionally, our article 4 Essential Elements for your Employee Handbook, outlines these often-skipped elements that should also be included:
- A social media policy
- A non-solicitation policy
- Confidentiality provisions
- A “termination when unable to work” provision
A word of caution: Simply having certain content or a specific number of sections in your handbook doesn’t make it a good handbook. Not only does a good employee handbook contain all of the necessary sections, it should also be consistently scrutinized, and if necessary, changed, to make sure those sections fit the organization’s goals and realities.
For some companies, that may mean a quarterly review is necessary; for others, it may mean more frequent, less formal opportunities to re-evaluate and adjust content. Employees should also record questions or issues they experience throughout the year that should be addressed (or re-addressed) in the handbook.
Seek feedback from across your organization.
While every handbook needs an administrator to do the actual upkeep and organization, consider getting feedback from departments throughout your company as to how the employee handbook can better serve the company and employees. This doesn’t have to be a conversation using the words “How can we improve the employee handbook?”—it can be as simple as informal discussion about policies or procedures that are or are not effective and what can be done to improve them.
Nothing is too insignificant to discuss—in fact, the more conversation you generate, the more likely your entire team will be to actually read and abide by the policies laid forth in your handbook.
Do you need help with creating an employee handbook for your organization?
We can help! Just contact us to set up a consultation. We look forward to talking with you soon!