XpertHR offers help in compiling handbook updates on new laws, trends
NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J. – (Jan. 18, 2017) Not only is it essential for an employer to develop, implement and enforce workplace policies through an employee handbook, but an employer also must make sure that employees and supervisors can understand, relate to and use it as a helpful resource. The start of a new calendar year is the perfect time to give your employee handbook a makeover and ensure it's working for you and your business, says XpertHR.
According to Beth Zoller, XpertHR legal editor, employee handbooks should serve two purposes: "As legal protection and as a resource for your business and employees."
To ensure the handbook is valuable, an essential first step is "updating your content based on new laws and changes in state and federal regulation," Zoller says, noting that this is critical for legal compliance and to minimize the risk of liability.
"Handbooks also can be engaging, and give employees history and context in which to view their company and understand its mission and goals," Zoller explains.
Lastly, it is important to be creative when developing an employee handbook, making it fun and engaging, says Zoller. "Companies should consider illustrating workplace rules with hypothetical situations, practical examples, anecdotes and narratives," she says. "A conversational tone can help draw an employee in and make it more interesting to read. Pictures, graphics and whimsical fonts can play a role in creating a handbook that is easier to read and understand."
But, even though it's OK to insert some creativity and fun to engage employees, compliance should be top of mind, says Zoller.
Here are some important points to consider when drafting or revising your employee handbook:
Zoller stresses that updating handbooks is an important business function because employee handbooks can be considered a legal document. "Even if the employer chooses to create a fun and cool employee handbook, it should not lose sight of the fact that an employee handbook is a legal document," Zoller says. "Certain policies are necessary to protect the employer's interest and may need to be relied on in case of a lawsuit."
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