I’m sure if you look around your office, you’ll see a big binder with all of your policies and procedures. Handbooks are key to running a successful business, but is your handbook up to par? Ask yourself these questions to see if your handbook could use a facelift and why it’s important to keep it updated.
When was the last time you read your handbook through?
This does not include handing it to a new hire or your HR team to look through. This means sitting down with managers and employees and taking a critical look at vacation policies, the mission statement for your company, code of conduct, benefits, etc.
Is the language in the handbook clear?
While you might think a policy makes sense, it’s up to you to make sure it is articulated to your employees. Sometimes language that would have been appropriate 10 years ago would not be appropriate today, so it is also important to take a look at the context and syntax of your handbook.
Does it answer the right questions?
Handbooks should be a place where an employee can go if they have a question about the foundation of their position, the company, and overarching policies. This is not the place to put testimonials, past guidelines, or narratives of what you hope or want the employee’s experience in the company to be.
Are my policies up to date and competitive?
Younger generations are looking for different benefits than older ones. Some examples include: Flex scheduling, virtual work, and volunteer incentives. Policies need to be updated regularly to match legal standards, but they also need to change to fit your employees. Afterall, you won’t need a handbook if you can’t hire anyone.
Does the company use the handbook as a crutch or guideline?
An employee should be able to reach for a handbook for some insight into how to take time off, how to make sure they are getting paid for their time, and how to handle harassment. Managers are still expected to point an employee in the right direction if they have additional questions and should not use the handbook to deflect them. Which leads to the next question…
Are the managers well versed with your handbook?
It’s inevitable that you and your managers will get a question the handbook doesn’t answer. Do you have an HR team on deck to help come up with solutions? However, for the FAQs of your business, your employees should be able to help answer questions without scanning the handbook or asking the boss every time someone on their team has a question. It will save you and your team a lot of confusion if you all start on the same page.
Do you have any questions about your handbook or would like an audit, send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org