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Is it Time to Update Your Employee Handbook?

Handbooks are important documents your company needs to keep up with.

By Brian Coughlin

Does your company have a well written, easy to understand employee handbook? If the answer is no, or yes, but it was printed when Norton was 150 years old, now may be the time to update this important, often times used as legal document.

A good, well written handbook will let managers and employees know what the rules and expectations are. In some cases, ignorance of the law is not a defense.  Things have changed, laws have changed.

If your handbook is missing some of the items below, or has been copied more times than a high school hall pass, you may just want to update your handbook.

A successful handbook should have:

  1. Welcome
  2. Expectations upon hire
  3. Culture
  4. Employee classification
  5. Employment at will
  6. Equal employment opportunity statement
  7. Confidentially requirements
  8. Sexual harassment policy
  9. Promotional procedures
  10. Meal and break periods
  11. Overtime policy
  12. Time keeping
  13. Defined work week
  14. Pay periods
  15. Performance review schedule
  16. Disciplinary rules
  17. Holidays, vacation and sick time
  18. Absenteeism and tardiness
  19. Leave of absence rules
  20. Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act
  21. Family and Medical Leave Act
  22. Snow days
  23. Employee benefits overview
  24. Time for benefits eligibility
  25. Ethics
  26. Confidentiality
  27. Internet/telephone policy
  28. Dress code
  29. Safety
  30. Smoking
  31. Substance abuse
  32. Open door policy
  33. Resignation, termination

Take a look at your current employee handbook.  If some of these items listed are missing, suggest to your management team that now might just be the time to update that all important employee handbook. I am sure they will appreciate your concern. 

 

With the National unemployment rate announcement of 9 percent, next week we will let you know what managers are looking for during the all important interview process.  

Brian Coughlin has lived in Norton most of his life and graduated from Norton High School. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in management from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of Science degree in management from Lesley University. He is a human resource consultant and has been operating his own business for six years. Check out his company page at www.coughlinHRconsulting.com.

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