Employee handbooks are essential tools in the modern workplace. These manuals outline policies, procedures and other information employees need to know.
There are many effective ways to write an employee handbook. Unfortunately, though, there are also some ways to go astray. Here are four employee handbook problems that may sink a business.
1. Failing to review the handbook
Researching, writing and editing an employee handbook can take a tremendous amount of time and financial resources. Still, employers are not out of the woods when they publish their handbooks. On the contrary, because working conditions, employment laws and other matters change frequently, employers must routinely review and update employee manuals. Having a qualified employment attorney regularly study the handbook is also a good idea.
2. Opting to treat employees differently
A handbook likely outlines disciplinary procedures. It also may describe how business leaders promote employees or otherwise treat them. If managers are not consistent with the way they apply the handbook, though, they are asking for trouble. As such, before taking any employment action, employers should be certain to follow established handbook procedures carefully.
3. Deciding to make false, misleading or implied statements
At most job sites in Colorado, employment is at-will. As such, employers can typically terminate employment for any reason or no reason at all, provided they follow legal requirements. A poorly drafted employee handbook may limit this flexibility. Accordingly, it is important never to make false, misleading or implied statements. Instead, employers should use concise language and expressly disclaim employment contracts.
4. Neglecting to obtain employee acknowledgment
Employers do not want to be in the unenviable position of having to defend against accusations that employees did not know about internal policies. Therefore, employee handbooks should have a well-written employee acknowledgment. Employers should also collect signed acknowledgments from employees for both new and revised handbooks and keep these on file.