Published on August 21, 2014
Is your employee handbook in desperate need of a makeover?
For many ambulatory surgery centers, it’s not uncommon for the same employee handbook to be distributed month after month, year after year. Often a laundry list of “must have statements,” these comprehensive employment documents are usually required by law and outline a company’s mission and goals, expectations, workplace rules and procedures, and formal employment policies.
But handbooks can quickly become outdated – and even a liability – if they’re not regularly updated. By following these best practices, your employee handbook will remain a relevant, valuable tool for you and your employees:
No. 1: Align with your current brand
A company’s business strategy almost always changes over time – and so should its handbook. Does your handbook properly articulate your company’s goals, mission and values? By communicating what the company is striving to achieve, and informing the employees of their vital role in the company’s success, the handbook can help guide employees on approaching their day-to-day work.
Communicating a company’s values and goals explains the important relationship between corporate and personal goals for employees. By showing that alignment, companies inevitably reduce turnover, increase productivity and lessen the risk of lawsuits.
In many cases, handbooks also should communicate to employees what behavior is expected in the workplace. Additionally, they should instruct employees on how to ethically approach common workplace situations and interactions in a way that’s consistent with your brand’s values. And when employees “walk the talk,” a company’s brand is strengthened and its corporate culture is further reinforced.
No. 2: Leverage new technology
Online portals, PDFs and other technology make it easier than ever to distribute labor and employment documents to employees. They also can help companies save on printing and distributing costs. Still, if a company forgoes distributing hard copies of handbooks to employees, employers should still request a signed statement from all employees acknowledging that they’ve received them.
No. 3: Review content annually
Employee handbooks should be reviewed at least once per year to account for changes in company policies or federal, state and local employment laws. For organizations without in-house expertise, it’s best to consult outside specialists, who can work closely with leadership to develop and execute long-term human resources strategies.
No. 4: Apply policies universally
Companies frequently get into trouble when policies and procedures are not enforced equally among all employees. Still, many companies are reluctant to “standardize procedures” because they fear regimented protocols are not flexible enough to address the myriad issues that arise day-to-day in a modern workplace.
It’s important to emphasize that standardizing procedures does not mean standardizing outcomes, which are impossible to predict. But by having a smart plan in place, companies can limit their risk and foster trust with employees, which leads to healthier, more productive working environments.
Please contact (708) 492-0519 for more information on employee handbooks.