Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 36 seconds

Standard operating procedure for the company handbook usually requires new hires to attest with a signature that they have read and understood the information within the handbook. We deliver the handbook, request their signature, and then retain the documents for our records. However, you have an opportunity to do more with this important business practice.

Why The Handbook Matters

The company handbook really is the official repository for all the policies, procedures, mission, and vision statements that represent your company. This is more than just a legal document but a real entity that encapsulates the whole of your organization into a few pages. Make it something meaningful.

If you still have a binder with some tired pages stuck inside reflecting your company handbook policies, procedures, etc., then you probably should update this method. The handbook should be made available as an electronic file that can be easily read from any device. Once you have an electronic file, you can more easily make updates and distribute the handbook routinely to more than just new hires.

Creating E-Versions

The other advantage to an electronic document is the chance to make this a published book with more then just verbiage. You can add more details and information as charts, graphs, and sidebars to make this legalese into something more palatable and approachable.

Also, as an electronic file, you can post the handbook to an intranet site or email to each employee so that it’s not an old dusty binder sitting on HR’s shelf, pulled out for a few signatures now and again. You can make the company handbook into a real live document with a home that is accessible and available to all.

Keeping It Current

Another reason to refresh your handbook is that times are changing. Technology has created new complications in the workplace from personal cell phone use and abuse to web searches and appropriate content for viewing at work. Your handbook should not be left to the dark ages as a paper copy addressing old company viewpoints but stay fresh to handle the changing times.

It may not require an overhaul to update and refresh the handbook. You might be able to simply add sections if you prefer to keep it simple. For sure, the handbook should address technology and security in today’s climate of hacking and portable devices, but other cultural issues have emerged that should be addressed as well. Make sure your handbook reflects the new values and culture of today’s workplace.

Serving As Protection

While it’s not a glamorous piece of reading, your company handbook is vital to your organization. Make sure to give this document due credit and keep this book up to date. The more attention and value you place on the handbook, the more seriously those who must interact with the book will take it.

The company handbook serves to protect your business as well as the employees, so give this important document the right treatment. Keep the handbook a reflection of your company and make sure to refresh the contents and perhaps the method of delivery as well.

Last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020
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