Ten Common Mistakes In Employee Handbooks


An employee handbook can be the foundation of employee performance and a shield against law suits OR it can be a time bomb that confuses employees and strips away your legal defenses!

It depends on how well it's written and implemented. Here is a list adapted from The HR Law Weekly of common mistakes in company handbooks:

1. Adopting a "Form" Handbook -  It many include promises you will never be able to keep.

2. Including too much detail on procedures - This is confusing to employees and provides fodder for lawyers. Stick to company policies and keep separate procedures manual for managers.

3. Mentoring a "probationary" period - To be effective, it must be called an " introductory period."

4. Being too specific in your discipline policy - This may give the idea that the policy covers every infraction.

5. Not being consistent - Make sure all policies speak in one voice.

6. Overlooking an at-will disclaimer

7. Sabotaging disclaimers by what you say- Especially by reassuring employees their jobs are safe.

8. Not adapting the handbook to accommodate each state's  laws

9. Failing to update the manual frequently for changing laws

10. Setting unrealistic policies -  If managers won't enforce it- don't put it in the handbook.

For handbook services, please contact HR Advisors. 


- The HR Law Weekly