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The employee handbook can be a useful tool for communicating guidance and information related to your organization’s history, mission, values, policies, procedures, and benefits for new and existing employees.
By now you’ve put together your own handbook. Here are five new policies that you can think about adding to your handbook to improve your workplace.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, telecommuting has expanded as a popular option for employers to keep their employees safe. If you plan to keep a small group of employees that will continue to work from home after the pandemic, then it may be beneficial to outline in your employee handbook how you want them to operate from home.
Equal Employment Opportunity
States and municipalities across the country have been passing a slew of laws that extend equal employment opportunities. These laws have extended protections for employees who are not protected under federal law such as medical marijuana users or those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Employers who fall under these laws should review them and update their employee handbooks accordingly to better protect themselves from litigation.
Personal Vehicle Usage
This one may seem strange, but it has come up enough times for us that we thought it was worth mentioning. If you run a business that involves employees using their personal vehicles in the course of their business duties, then it may be worth outlining in your employee handbook how employees will be reimbursed or what standards must be met when driving while on the clock.
Travel and Expense Policy
Similar to the personal vehicle usage, if your business requires your employees to travel extensively then it may be worth including in your employee handbook how your employees would be reimbursed for doing so. It may also be beneficial to think about what should be reimbursed, such as food, rideshare fares, and hotel expenses.
Smoke-Free Workplace Policy
With e-cigarettes and other tobacco substitutes becoming more popular, states have begun to enact laws that prohibit all “smoking” in the workplace. It would be worth reviewing what your local laws are, as some employers may be required to post notices, provide designated smoking areas, or ban all smoking together.
What policies you choose to implement should be specific to your business and the goals of your organization. The five that we outlined here are some policies that we think are worth reviewing or adding with the changing landscape of the American workplace. Remember that if you change or add to your employee handbook you should keep it simple for your employees to understand, but comprehensive enough to cover for liability.
As with most of our recommendations, these policies should be reviewed and updated as the laws change. Your employee handbook is a powerful tool in your business toolbox to help your business take official stances on complex issues and outline how your employees should conduct business in the workplace.
Looking to create your employee handbook, but don’t know where to start? Pinnacle’s team of HR experts can help you create a handbook that addresses all the company policies that your organization needs. We make HR easy so you can focus on what matters—Growing your business!