Rethink the Employee Handbook

Ask a Recruiter - Employer Q&A

Ask a Recruiter

Q: Our Handbook is really outdated. What are some best practices around updating it?

A: Handbooks can be foundational to your office culture, making the rules and guidelines explicit while reflecting your culture and brand. However, many handbooks are written purely in legalese and are intended mostly to CYA in the event of an employee relations issue. One key thing to decide is what you’re trying to accomplish with the handbook. 

While there are some policies that will make it in every handbook, like anti-discrimination and paid time off, what you choose to include — and the language you choose to use — can make it relevant and supportive of your team. How rigid or flexible are you? Professional or inviting? Do you refer to “the employee” or “you”? Do you repeatedly run into similar issues around areas like attendance? Include policies on that. No issues with social media? Don’t use a 6-page, generic social media template that refers to weblogs and bans on checking TikTok during the day.  

There isn’t one perfect handbook template that will work for every organization. Spending some time and energy to think through what you’re trying to accomplish with your handbook is a great first step.

PS: If you’d like more support updating or creating a Handbook, our HR Consultant can help!  

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