In our recent post addressing the need for and benefits of an employee handbook, we mentioned the importance of having employees sign off on having received and read an organization's employee handbook. This is a vital step in creating and distributing a handbook because it encourages employees to read the document, ask questions about its contents, and signal that they understand the information provided. We also noted that sign-off should occur when each new edition of the handbook is given out.
Are all employers required to have an employee handbook? If you answered "no" to this question, you are technically correct. There are no federal or state laws that specifically require companies to create and maintain employee handbooks. HOWEVER, we strongly suggest doing so since, regardless of your company's size, having an employee handbook is a good business practice. There are many laws requiring employers to notify employees of workplace rights (e.g. EEO, sexual harassment, ADA, FMLA), and this document can help with that. In fact, a well-crafted employee handbook helps protect both employer and employees. Following are five specific reasons why having a handbook might be a good idea for your organization.
Okay, not really. It's inconceivable that any company can create a comprehensive solution to its workplace health and safety concerns in just two minutes. However, two minutes is plenty of time to watch a reliable overview about specific aspects of workplace health and safety as well as obtain some basic direction about how to proceed towards creating a safe, compliant environment. We actually call this video library 2-Minute HR, and it's just one of the resources that can be found in the HR Support Center section of People Savvy HCM Essentials. Here's how it works.
As The Fixx sang anxiously in 1982, "One thing leads to another."
Here in the anxious environment of 2020, that statement may be more true than ever. The arrival of COVID-19 led the federal government to pass economic relief legislation, such as the FFCRA. Responding to that, employers updated their policies to comply, but in many cases they also re-evaluated existing leave policies to adapt to the required changes. All of this filtered down to HR departments, which needed to codify these policies in employee handbooks so that employees could understand what all of this realistically means for them. Then more legislation, then more policies, then more handbook changes.
In her blog post last week introducing this month's HR topic and webinar, Four Critical Handbook Policies for 2020, Christy talked about the employee handbook builder available to subscribers of People Savvy HCM Essentials. This is a great resource to help HR professionals and part-time HR administrators alike create, maintain, and keep compliant employee handbooks that are custom tailored to their organizations. Behind each employee handbook created in the builder is a team of professional HR Advisors, who work on your behalf to generate a handbook that aligns with your company's specific policies while remaining compliant from a regulatory perspective. Here's how easy it can be to generate a new employee handbook or update a current one.
Can anyone else believe how fast 2020 is passing by? We are almost half way through summer already! Do any of my HR friends out there have reviewing and revising (or creating?) the employee handbook on their growing list of things to do? With all of this year's other unanticipated priorities taking precedence, I bet it is pretty close to the bottom right now. If you want to move it up briefly and check it off the list quicker than you anticipated, following are some great resources that might just help you do that.
Over the past few months, we have all been hyper-focused on navigating our organizations safely through the current, unprecedented times. We've been furloughing employees and bringing them back; making sure we provide a safe work environment or making remote working the new normal; administering all the new government compliance programs and reporting paid sick leave and extended FMLA. While these responsibilities have been taking most of our time and are, understandably, very important, we still have to make sure we are checking items off from our normal HR to-do list, like making sure the employee handbook is up-to-date, maintaining performance management programs, completing OSHA reporting, conducting safety training, benefits renewals, and open enrollments...and the list goes on and on.
While the presence of the Coronavirus in the United States stretches into its fifth month, the pandemic continues to impact employers, their businesses, and their workers. Three of the latest developments are below.
As your business continues addressing these items, please remember that Bennett/Porter & Associates is here to continue supporting you, your employees, and your organization. We strive to keep you up-to-date on all the latest HR, payroll, and employer-related technology changes that impact your company. If you are not currently signed-up to receive our Blog posts, we encourage you to do so in order to avoid missing important updates such as these. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or technology needs you have.
A recent Ankura survey found that 48% of employees wish that workplace technology performed as well as personal technology. This high number indicates a broad divide between employee expectations for information usage and what employers are actually delivering. While data-driven apps, mobile-ready devices, and search engines like Google offer people near instantaneous access to information in their personal and social lives, as employees they continue struggling when at work to access basic information regarding time off accruals, hours usage, and scheduling. Furthermore, they frequently find themselves tethered to non-mobile points of access. These technology impediments are also expensive for employers, since excess time, energy, and costs are continuously expended when employees have to waste time seeking basic information and answers.
Coordinating Human Resources wasn't in your job description when you were interviewed and hired at this little company of 47 employees. But you're a fast study and have a friendly personality, and so after six months at work you were asked to show a new hire around. Afterwards you thought, "There should probably be an orientation and initial paperwork process for when new people are hired," and so you took the initiative and created one. The benefits enrollment process interested you, and so you became the main contact with the broker. One day, somebody asked if the minimum wage poster in the break room was current. It wasn't, so you retrieved the latest version from the Department of Labor website and started checking and replacing the other notices from time to time. HR tasks didn't take up too much of your time, and it was kind of fun keeping on top of things.
Then a pandemic hit.