A well-crafted employee handbook helps employees understand what is expected of them and sets them up for success, while giving managers clear guidelines as well. It is important to keep your employment policies updated and relevant to current business practices.
When should you review your policies?
When is the best time to review your employment related policies? Really, any time can be good. Employment laws and workplace practices can change at any time, so a periodic review of your policies is key to staying compliant with regulations and in alignment with current practice. Having a policy that no one follows or that is outdated can be even more problematic than having no policy at all.
An annual review of your employment-related policies is best, and sometimes you may have a need to update policies even more frequently. Those can be done with an addendum to your policies if you do not want to update the entire handbook at once.
Key questions to ask
While your HR leader should be ultimately responsible for the updates, management and employee input is critical. Policies should be reviewed with the following questions in mind:
- What is not working in practice?
- Which policies are questioned most often?
- Which policies do we most often have to enforce or consider discipline for non-compliance?
- Which policies are most challenging to enforce?
- Are policies creating challenges to recruit or retain the best employees?
Answers to those questions, with input from managers and employees, will help you consider which policies may need revisions, in addition to those that require changes due to legal compliance concerns.
Don’t forget to communicate
When policy updates are made, communication to your employees is essential, and training may be necessary for supervisors as well, depending upon the subject of the policy changes. If substantial changes are made that could affect employment situations, having employees acknowledge the new policy revisions is recommended.