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Employee Policy Manuals: What to Include in Your Annual Review

Employee Policy Manuals: What to Include in Your Annual Review

As we near the end of the year, I want to remind you of the importance of having an up-to-date and comprehensive employee manual or handbook. This is crucial to protect your business, yourself and your employees from legal and personnel issues. It is also necessary and relevant to have a current employee manual should you need to conduct a workplace investigation.

Federal and state laws prohibit various types of employee conduct and an employee manual must include and adapt to all employment laws. It should be used as a guide to address all major workplace disputes, no matter who is involved.

Starting from scratch? Download the free Employee Handbook Template.

What Goes Into the Employee Manual

When writing or reviewing a workplace manual, be sure to include policies on the following:

  • What is appropriate workplace conduct or code of conduct in your workplace
  • How your company addresses mental health, employee wellbeing, and what support you will provide
  • A policy on disability access and inclusion
  • A policy prohibiting discrimination of any kind including race, gender, religious etc.
  • How you address federal and state employment laws
  • How you handle disputes over injuries and how workplace safety is addressed
  • A policy on harassment/hostile work environment, including bullying
  • How you will handle incidents of violence or abuse, including investigations and possible punishment
  • A policy on substance abuse including alcohol and drugs
  • A policy on weapons in the workplace, including anywhere on the premises
  • How disputes over compensation, wages, benefits, and leave will be handled
  • A social media, personal devices, phones, computers and IT usage policy
  • A policy outlining hiring and firing issues, what steps will be taken before hiring anyone and before firing anyone
  • A policy addressing how you handle complaints and grievances
  • Any policy that may be specific to your business such as how you deal with the public, etc.

A Manual Protects Your Company

Your employee manual is basically a guideline for your employees and your business. It can help to protect you if there is an issue or an incident so make sure all of your policies are relevant to your workplace. It can be used in legal proceedings, investigations, and much more.