5 Reasons Massachusetts Employers Should Update Their Employee Handbook

September 18, 2018

More often than not, the employee handbook is a pamphlet thrown at new hires during orientation and quickly set on a shelf to gather dust. Ultimately, the employee handbook should be your staff’s go-to resource for handling the daily operations of the workplace, but that requires that employers keep the information relevant. Here are five reasons all Massachusetts employers should update their employee handbook.

  1. Changing Legislation

Keeping up with current legislation is a non-negotiable for every business, so the contents of your employee handbook should follow suit. For example, your handbook should be appropriately adjusted to comply with the new Massachusetts Equal Pay Act that went into effect this July. Make sure that the information in your employee handbook is current so that employees at all levels understand what is expected from them by law and what they can expect from you as their employer.

  1. Changing Staff

If you’ve experienced major staff changes, it could be high-time for major changes to your employee handbook.

It goes without saying that your employee handbook should make your staff aware of the components of The Equal Pay Act and policies for sexual harassment, but updating your employee handbook may also be an appropriate time for some troubleshooting.

When measuring employee retention HR metrics, you may observe recurrences in employee departures for specific and preventable reasons. If this is the case, it may mean that your employee handbook either does not have specific practices to prevent this, or the ones in place are not clear.

Update your employee handbook to ensure that all of your employees are of appropriate workplace conduct and to prevent your company from experiencing the same losses.

  1. Changing Technology

Speaking of new technology, the ubiquity of tech in the business world can present a particular challenge in your daily practices.

Whether it is simply a distraction from work or something as consequential as misuse of social media, it is vital for proper HR development that your employees have clear expectations for appropriate use of technology.

  1. Changing Corporate Needs

Twenty years ago, even the most progressive business had no idea what a “social media department” was. As culture follows the constant shifts in technology, your business is likely to find itself in need of departments and positions that have never existed in the history of your company.

An outdated employee handbook simply will not suffice if it was drafted before certain facets of your business even existed. Be sure that your handbook is relevant to all areas of your company, whether they have existed for ten years or for ten months.

  1. You Don’t Have an Employee Handbook

Perhaps you don’t think you need an employee handbook. You don’t run a Fortune 500 company or manage a hundred employees, so why would you need a handbook when your small staff knows what to do?

The harsh reality of the business world is that upwards of 30% of businesses fail in their first year and survival rates tend toward decline over the next few years. Your small business needs every fighting chance to stay operational and a key component of that is a streamlined employee handbook.

A well-written handbook could be what keeps employee behavior above board, daily operations efficient, and unexpected challenges appropriately handled.

If your employee handbook needs updating, HR support for small business is available for you. Trust the HR advisors at Commonwealth Payroll and HR to tailor a handbook specific to your company’s changing needs.

Call us today at (978) 599-1500 to ask about how we can manage your employee handbook, HR management software, or any other HR outsourcing needs.

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