Mistakes to Avoid with Employee Handbooks

Employee handbooks are a critical element of a company’s overall business strategy. They can affect a person’s performance, determine the terms of his or her employment, and guide a company through a host of legal issues. But employee handbooks can also be a liability, with organizations that fail to keep them up-to-date and accurate jeopardizing an individual’s job performance.


The last thing organizations want to do is subject themselves to costly lawsuits. And so, many organizations create handbooks, or “employee manuals” as they are also known, to guide employees in the areas where they may run afoul of the law.


Employment Handbook Mistakes: What Not To Do


The fact is, employers are legally required to provide their employees with a written employee handbook. Unfortunately, many employers do not follow the important rules outlined in their handbooks. This can lead to serious problems, including lawsuits. As a result, it is important to know the following things to help you avoid mistakes that may lead to legal trouble.


Here are a few mistakes to avoid with the employee handbook:


Taking a Boilerplate Approach

The goal of any employee handbook is to provide your employees with the knowledge and guidance they need to make sound decisions regarding their roles and responsibilities, as well as the company’s policies. But how do you achieve this? By clearly outlining key policies, explaining the reasoning behind those policies, and linking those policies to the company’s values.


Not Incorporating All Policies in the Handbook

A policy handbook helps employers communicate information to employees about the company, the work environment, and the benefits of working there. Employees likely expect to see any new policies in their handbooks, but employers often forget to include the most important policies in the handbook, including safety policies, policies on safety hazards, and policies on workplace diversity. This can cause confusion for employees who are trying to follow the rules of the organization.


Omitting Disclaimers

All employee handbooks must incorporate a disclaimer that no statement in the handbook constitutes a contract for work or modifies the employee’s at-will work relationship. 


Not Having an Efficient Anti-Harassment Policy

When it comes to preventing harassment in the workplace, companies don’t always offer up the best advice. The reality is that there are already laws in place that spell out what constitutes unlawful workplace behavior. If you don’t want to run afoul of these laws, you’re better off just avoiding the problem entirely.


Not Making It User-Friendly

More and more companies are making the Employee Handbook a long document that requires a team of people to read and understand. But if this communication tool is to be effective, it needs to be user-friendly and accessible to the employees. 


Bottom Line


An employee handbook is an important part of your business. It can protect your company by ensuring employees understand your expectations and prevent employees from making costly mistakes. 

A well-written and carefully crafted employee handbook will give you great coverage and protection. Attend the Compliance Prime webinar to know more about the employee handbook.

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