Tuesday, 28 September 2021 09:19

Why It's Time To Update Your Employee Handbook

Now is the perfect time of the year to start updating your employee handbook! But why? That's one of the top questions that we hear all the time, aside from "do small businesses need an employee handbook?" Business owners might be hesitant to update their handbooks once more because they don't see the value in annual updates.

That said, it's a wise idea to make updates to your handbooks each year. Today we'll dive into the top reasons why now is the right time to get those updates taken care of.

But first, let's make one thing perfectly clear:

Do Small Businesses Need An Employee Handbook?


There is currently no legal requirement for small businesses to have employee handbooks (BLR). However, these handy resources offer tons of benefits and can drastically improve your organization in multiple ways. In fact, an employee handbook for your small business will help:

  • Save your company valuable time and resources
  • Mitigate legal risks and avoid costly lawsuits
  • Align your workers for better brand representation
  • Effectively communicate work expectations and job responsibilities to your workers
  • Expedite the onboarding process
  • And help boost your bottom line

So the question shouldn't be "do small businesses need an employee handbook?" Instead, you should be asking, "what else can these handbooks do for me?"

What Does An Employee Handbook Include?

Custom employee handbooks can deliver those aforementioned benefits because they are jam-packed with a wealth of relevant information. They function as an all-in-one resource for your workers and contain things like:

  • General company information (e.g., company culture, mission statement, core values, etc.)
  • Key company policies (e.g., code of conduct, sexual harassment policies, complaint procedures, dress codes, etc.)
  • Information on employment law and employee benefits
  • Confidentiality policy and nondisclosure agreements
  • Job descriptions and expectations
  • And more

When all the key information is in one place, your staff will have all the tools, resources, and knowledge they need to get their jobs done quickly and efficiently.

Why Now Is The Right Time To Update Your Employee Handbooks

The fact of the matter is that nothing stays the same forever. Change is inevitable, and your business will undergo a variety of changes throughout the fiscal year.

Maybe your company has experienced significant growth this past year. So you may need to update the employee classifications, job descriptions, and benefits listed in your handbook.

Perhaps your business practices or policies have permanently shifted due to the recent pandemic. That means the procedures listed in your employee document are out-of-date and must be updated.

Or maybe employment laws are changing at the local, state, or federal level. To accommodate those legal changes, you may need to adjust your employment policies and anti-harassment policies.

Change happens all the time at micro and macro levels. If your business isn't well prepared for those changes, then you risk harming your company and your brand reputation. If you want to ensure your business will succeed in the coming year, then it's time to get started on your handbook updates.

How Often Should You Update Your Handbook?

It's a good idea to update your handbook every year, even if your company has not undergone any significant recent changes. This helps ensure that nothing slips through the cracks regarding your policies, procedures, and employment law.

Workplace laws and regulations are constantly changing from year to year. For example, the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) will apply to all employers in Colorado on the first day of 2022 (ColoradoBiz Magazine). Is your handbook ready to account for that change?

An annual review/update will help make sure that your handbook is up-to-date and that your business is prepared to stay competitive in your industry.

Update Your Employee Handbook With CourtSide® Consulting

The new year is only a few months away! This means that now is the right time to start thinking about what needs to be updated in your employee manuals.

Our HR professionals at CourtSide® Consulting are ready to lend a helping hand. We can perform a top-to-bottom review of your entire handbook and identify all the essential updates and changes that your manual needs. With our support, your company will be fully prepared to take on the challenges of this next year.

Contact CourtSide® Consulting today to learn how our HR experts will update, refine, and improve your employee handbooks.