Welcome to National Employee Manual Update month, well, it’s not really a recognized holiday. But since there is a National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day (March 24, 2017) and National Dress up Your Pet Day (January 14, 2017 – missed that one, didn’t you?) let’s create our own holiday – “Keep Your Employees informed Day”.

And it all starts with supercharging your employee manual. Why should you start there?

  • Let’s face it, many team members tell me that they didn’t actually read the entire employee manual when it was bestowed upon them on day one of their employment. You have a better opportunity to help the team understand policies when they are broken into smaller bites and selected policies are reviewed at team meetings.
  • If changes are being made, review those changes with the team members. Encourage their questions and hear their concerns. Then have them sign off that they received this information and let’s make sure that signature also has a date next to it.
  • Small changes can be handled as an addendum, an addition to the manual that is reviewed and signed by the employee. Big changes? Then it’s time to break down and reissue the entire manual. It is work but sharing expectations clearly with your team, and in a timely manner, is essential to creating a positive workplace.
  • There is very little chance that you are standing in a state that has not had any changes to laws in the last twelve months. And there have been multiple changes to federal laws to consider. The updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act are still in dispute but many experts are indicating it’s not an if, but a when, situation – likely some time in 2017. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has been updated in many states to include additional protected classes. Paid Sick Leave laws have expanded in 2016 and will continue to expand in 2017. Social media policies need to be updated – technology advances faster than our protections regarding safe and sound usage in business environments. The list goes on.

Need to identify what updates your practice should be considering? Check back here for recommendations we will be making monthly on this blog. And, attend one of our HR Boot Camps around the country in 2017. See you there.

Sheila Grosdidier, SCP
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