If your organization hands out their employee handbook to new hires and then never thinks about the handbook again, you are not alone. The fact that many companies make this same error, however, does not make it an effective business practice. It is vital that all employees – be they new hires or senior members of the team – periodically revisit the employee handbook. This practice ensures that company policies stay fresh in employee’s minds. Regular re-examination of the handbook also ensures that employees understand your company’s processes. This includes workplace guidelines, and procedures for resolving problems or issues they may face.
Although employers often expect their employees to remember and revisit the employee handbook on their own. Employers still have a responsibility to keep the handbook up-to-date with new developments and approaches to emerging needs. This article explains how your organization can determine if and when it is time to update your employee handbook. It also covers how an up-to-date employee handbook benefits not only your employees, but your company’s overall productivity and efficiency.
How Often Should You Update An Employee Handbook?
Review your company employee handbook at least once a year.
It is crucial that all companies and organizations maintain an annual practice to assess and update the handbook’s contents. This is especially wise for start-ups and developing companies, who are more likely to face new, complicated scenarios as their business grows.
Ideally, you should update your company’s handbook every time there is a change to federal, state, or local employment laws. When your employee handbook reflects the latest legal and regulatory changes, it safeguards not only your employees but your company as well.
Inform Employees Regarding Changes in Policies with Evidence
While some companies maintain a concise employee handbook that only includes information required under the law, other companies may treat their handbook as an all-inclusive manual for their HR department and the organization at large.
Managers and HR departments must notify employees whenever there are regulatory changes related to their employment within a specific department. That does not necessarily require you to add those regulatory changes to the handbook. Instead, you may only need to provide an update to the specific employees who were impacted by the updated protocols.
However, if it’s an organization-wide update, it is best to reflect changes in the employee handbook as quickly as possible so that the older policies do not needlessly impact new employees.
An updated employee handbook is imperative because it may help protect your organization in the event of a lawsuit or other legal issue. Likewise, an employee handbook serves to outline your organization’s processes and stipulate its dedication to complying with all relevant employment laws.