The most common employee handbook mistakes
Employee handbooks: Everyone needs them, but the upkeep is time-consuming. Legislation and tax rules are constantly shifting, not to mention having to keep up with today’s demanding company culture initiatives and growing interest from employees to arm themselves with legal workplace knowledge. How do you offer the best benefits, keep your employees up-to-date on policy and stay compliant all at once?
We took advantage of our in-house knowledge base and asked BeyondPay’s HR specialists:
Why are employee handbooks so important?
What do you most often see missing in employee handbooks?
Have our experts review your handbook for an in-depth audit. Save time and keep your handbook in check.
Why Employee Handbooks are More Important Than Ever
Foremost, the employer/employee relationship is a legal one. If you include an ‘At-Will’ employment statement, your employee handbook is not a legally binding contract. However, your handbook sets a precedent and is a foundation for the policies, procedures and legal requirements for your business. In the face of a wrongful termination suit, an employee handbook can well-arm a disgruntled former employee. Especially since employees have a larger wealth of knowledge than ever before thanks to the internet.
Knowledge is Power
When you present information to your employees, they become engaged. Knowing how the business works, how company culture is carried out and what policies to abide by, employees become a part of a larger purpose. Taking the time to build and provide a thorough handbook says you respect their needs and want to empower them with the knowledge they need to be successful. You can’t expect your employees to meet a company standard (or exceed it!) if you never communicate what the standard is.
It’s Efficient and Effective
Questions about paid holidays and how benefits are accrued are questions you should not have to be asked more than once. During an employee’s orientation, answer questions as they arise, but point them to the employee handbook as a resource if they ever need a refresher. These questions waste too much time for a busy business owner or bogged down HR Leader to repeat when instead they should be pointing to the print.
What your handbook is probably missing
Okay, got it. Employee handbooks are important. But what is yours missing?
1. Nature of Employment – Specifically outlining the job description, responsibilities, pay rate, whether the employee is full-time or part-time is a basic, yet often missing piece of a handbook. Having the written description to have HR or managers to reference if expectations are not being met is an essential tool for an employer.
2. Equal Employment Opportunity – You can grab the EEO statement from SHRM here
3. Business Ethics and Conduct – Outline expectations regarding employees’ behavior towards their colleagues, supervisors and overall organization.
4. Personal Relationships in the Workplace – Establish rules for the conduct of personal relationships between employees, including supervisory personnel, to prevent conflicts and maintain a productive and friendly work environment.
5. Conflicts of Interest – Guidelines for employees balancing personal and business interests and HR professionals in handling conflict situations.
6. Personnel Data Changes
8. Workers’ Compensation Insurance
10. Employment Termination – A separation of employment policy will ensure that both voluntary and involuntary terminations are handled with minimal disruption to the workplace
11. Company Issued Equipment/Manual
12. Telephone Use
13. Computer and Email Usage
14. Internet Usage
15. Workplace Monitoring – Explain uses for and restrictions on workplace monitoring, surveillance, and searches.
16. Cell Phone Usage
17. Social Media – You can use the template from SHRM here.
18. Employee conduct and Work rules
19. Sexual and other unlawful harassment – Sample anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure.
22. Current legislation – Workplace legislation is constantly changing on the federal, state and even local level. Making sure your handbook reflects every change is a must to uphold compliance.
Update your handbook with expertise
With the new year still freshly upon us, now is a perfect time to ensure you handbook is completely up-to-date with an audit. Handbook audits can be done in house depending on your HR support or conducted by a third party.
BeyondPay is currently running a promotional offer on handbook audit reports to ensure your organizations starts the new year off without any second-guessing on compliance.GET STARTED