7 Ways to Update Your Employee Handbook

 

Whatever your industry, nowadays workplaces go through change often. With that, it is important to update your employee handbook regularly. Updating an employee handbook is easily overlooked with many small changes or changes that occur quickly. However, taking the time to update the company handbook to reflect any and all changes will ensure expectations are clear. It protects from certain liabilities, too.

Here are 7 ways to update your employee handbook in 2019

1. Make sure it is in print and digital.

Many companies across the nation are adopting employee technology. From mobile apps to dashboards employees now have more digital access to company information than ever before. Make sure the digital handbook is at par with the printed version as changes take place.

2. Check local, state and federal law changes.

Employment laws are changing at break-neck speed. Keep abreast of these changes and make necessary amendments to your handbook. To stay in-the-know, attend as many legal education seminars and workshops as your schedule permits. Online webinars and email alerts specific to your industry are good ways, too.

3. Update the company drug policy.

Marijuana legalization has changed the entire workforce landscape. Align your written drug policy with legal regulations for your state and spell out any notable differences between the state laws and company policies. Make modifications to the handbook that cover company use of medicinal and recreational marijuana as well as your company’s drug testing policies.

4. Be clear on the use of social media.

Many companies are adopting strict social media use policies. That is, the use of social media while working or even prohibiting associating an employee’s personal social media profiles with their work email address. Update your employee handbook with clear standards for social media guidance. Keep in mind all platforms, both professional and purely social. “Social media” refers to any online platform that allows for interaction between and among users.

5. Be clear on alternative work arrangements.

With a multi-generational workforce has come more work arrangements than any time period in history. The gig economy, flex time, remote work and more contractors-all of these warrant a clear and distinct policy outline for each arrangement laid out in the employee handbook. Remember leaves of absence, too.

6. Set clear standards for in-office work attire.

Along the same lines as #5 above, with so many different age ranges working alongside each other the expectations for office dress can become blurred. The Baby Boomer employee may work best in a suit and tie. By contrast, the millennial employee prefers an untucked button down and Adidas to feel most productive. Perhaps all that is perfectly fine in your workplace. Whatever the case, spell it out in the handbook updates. While supporting comfort and personal style enhances workplace culture, depending upon your industry and clientele there is a fine balance between business and preference.

7. Cover gender accommodations.

One very relevant and important update for your employee handbook is around gender neutrality and equality. If your company has gender-neutral restrooms, spell out the expectation for use in the updates. Likewise, if you employ transgender individuals or those pursuing gender reassignment address accommodations in the handbook.

Coastal Human Resource Group, Inc. is a Human Resource Outsourcer (HRO). We serve as a full-service human resources department for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southeast which provided compliance screening as well as background checks. Visit www.Coastal-HR.com or call us toll-free at 1-888-757-7444. We’re here to help ensure that all your human resources needs are met.