It’s not uncommon for a business to consider its employee handbook a low priority. Oftentimes, a workplace may have created its employee handbook, then never taken the time to update it. Sometimes a company fails to share their handbook with all employees at the business. These mistakes are frequently common with a small business that doesn’t have an HR and payroll/benefits department or even just a single human resources professional. Read the article to learn eight ways that an HR professional can help with creating the kind of employee handbook that has true benefits and ROI for a business.
1. An HR Expert Will Keep Employee Handbook Updated as the Company Size or Location Changes
Any time a company grows or gets smaller, it can become subject to new HR and employment laws. The same is true any time a company opens or closes a work site in different locations, or if a company decides to include new services in its offering to its clients and customers. HR professionals can help a company to stay updated on all the legislation and regulation that it must adhere to, no matter how frequently it will fluctuate. An HR expert will assist a company in updating its policies to reach compliance. Especially if a company is focused on reaching its business goals or weathering a crisis, this kind of service from an HR provider can be enormously helpful. With these services, an HR provider will protect the company from any legal or compliance risk and allow people to focus on what’s most important: meeting operational and meeting business goals.
2. A Human Resource Professional Has Spent Their Career Preparing for this Kind of Task
HR professionals, such as the ones based with MP, are trained to help a workplace in creating the best employee handbook (or employee handbooks) for its needs. An HR professional knows the best practices for developing employee handbooks and policies. They’re also aware of how an employee handbook can protect a workplace, its site, its employees, and assist in attaining business goals. Working with HR professionals to create a company manual can ensure that it will include exponentially more benefits for the business.
3. An HR Expert Will Keep You Updated on New Employment Laws and Regulations
HR professionals will spend their career staying abreast of the latest workplace legislation. Every year, new employment laws and regulations are made and based at a federal, state, and even city-wide level. Sometimes, even the best HR departments aren’t aware of these new employment laws or regulations. These can be complicated and, when they are first passed, might require further guidance from the government to help understand exactly how they will impact a business. HR experts (like those at MP) can help a business to keep their employee handbook and policies in compliance with any new laws.
4. They Ensure Your Employee Handbook Has All Legally Required Sections
HR professionals can help to ensure that a company will include all the legally required sections in its employee handbook. There are some sections that are required by federal laws, like the at-will clause. Some sections that HR departments are legally required to include are state based. For instance, in New York, there are laws requiring a workplace of a certain size to provide sexual harassment training for its workers. Any company that is subject to this law should create policies in their employee handbook that will spell out who needs to get this training, when they need to get it, and how they can get it.
5. HR Professionals Assist in Creating Handbooks for each Branch and Location
It’s not common for a company to have more than one employee handbook per site or division, but this practice can have a lot of benefits. For a company with many branches or with employees who have drastically different roles (for instance, a corporate office and staff that have customer service roles in different branches), it can really help to create a different employee handbook for each work site or each kind of employees. It will ensure that employee HR policies are targeted to the location of the site or the requirements of employees’ roles. A company can create and distribute an employee handbook with policies that perfectly fit its recipients, increasing the likelihood of staying in compliance and reducing confusion and frustration for employees.
6. They Develop a Plan for Company Distribution
A human resources expert can help a business come up with the best way to share and get acknowledgement of its employee handbook from the whole team. They can advise on how frequently to share the updated employee handbook and the best way to keep a record of employees’ acknowledgement of receipt of it. Sometimes this might include creating the employee handbook on a digital platform and requiring a digital signature. Other times it might include giving workers a physical copy of new policies to read, with a signature page at the back for acknowledgement. An HR professional can assist a company manager in finding the best plan for its workplace and employees.
7. HR Professionals Help You Edit Overly Restrictive Social Media Sections
In the past few years, the National Labor Relations Board has been doing work to nullify overly restrictive social media policies. The NLRB says that a business can no longer hold its employees back from speaking about the conditions of their work and their place of employment on social media. An HR professional can help a company write policies that are in compliance, and yet still achieve their goals for maintaining professionalism and the company reputation.
8. They Assist in Ensuring That No Policies Are Overly Detailed
Sometimes a company will make the mistake of writing policies that include too many details and negate the handbook’s effectiveness. HR professionals understand the balance that must be struck in writing policies: they should be specific enough to deter behavior that the employer wants to discourage, or they must require certain actions as part of employment (like training). However, if HR policies are too detailed, they will make it difficult for the company to take the kind of disciplinary action that is appropriate for specific events. HR experts know that every infraction at work is unique to the situation: who is involved, when or where it happened on the site, if it the first time or the tenth time. For policies to work best for a company, they should include enough information to get everyone on the same page. However, these HR policies should also leave room for discretion depending on the specific circumstance.
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