Institution of Affiliation
The primary purpose of an employee handbook is to ensure a consistent means of communications that concerns the policies resources as well as the best practices for everyone in a firm (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). The handbook is, therefore, a guide to which allows the employers and managers as well as the staff to get an understanding of their expectations regarding the roles and responsibilities of each one of them. Despite the handbook being of significant assistance to the organization, there are grief consequences the results from the incorrect and the ineffective use of the handbook. Despite the lack of any legal requirements for the provision of a handbook to an employee, it aids in support of best practices and can, therefore, be used as a confirmation of the procedures in the case of being called into question regarding the legal purposes.
Various challenges result from the incorrect use of the handbook due to mistakes have done when developing and implementing the handbook. The omission of the legal review of the handbook is one of the errors that can lead to the ineffective use of the handbook (Reason, 2016). It is highly recommended that an organization have a legal counsel review of the handbook before it is distributed for implementation. The review by the legal counsel makes it possible to identify the mistakes as well as the misleading information. Having the omissions in the handbook, therefore, can lead to the organization having difficulties with the implementation of the handbook in the firm.
There is the challenge of inconsistent utilization of the handbook in the organization during the implementation (Ostroff & Bowen, 2016). The employers, employees and the managers are to use the handbook manual for the everyday activities. They should avoid making decisions and as well the approach of issues without prior consulting from the handbook. The consistent use of the handbook ensures the identification of mistakes and as well provides the review of the applicable policies. In addition to the inconsistent utilization, not including an employee acknowledgment page in the handbook is another challenge during the development of the handbook. Obtaining a signed acknowledgment receipt of the handbook from the employees for the personnel file provides a level of consistency as well as proof to which an employer makes the employees aware of the handbook. The lack of the acknowledgment page for the employees may, therefore, be a challenge to the implementation of the handbook.
There also arises a challenge in the implementation of the handbook in the event of the omission of the state-specific policies along with the federal requirements. The exclusion of the policies thereof is a violation of the conditions and if not followed may result to an employer becoming legally liable becoming a challenge in the use of the handbook. During the development of the handbook, it is important to avoid as much as possible the use of misleading information, promises or even an implied contract in the details of the policy or even the process. The language used should be comprehended and ensure that the outcomes are not guaranteed. Besides, the language used should ensure that there is no perception of any implied agreement so that there will arise no conflict during the implementation of the handbook.
A regular review of the handbook should be endorsed in an organization as there are challenges that may result from an inadequate analysis of the handbook (Bryson, 2018). It should be noted that the policies and practices tend to change on a daily basis and it is possible to have a previously written handbook to contain policies that have already been replaced. Regular updates of the handbook are therefore essential to keep the handbook updated with the current policies in the firm and therefore avoid inconveniencing the employees. Another challenge arises when a newly revised handbook is not presented to the employees, and this implies that the staff are not aware of the changes done in the handbook and therefore continue to use the outdated one. Through this, the employees may be led to confusion as they are not aware of the changes and thus become a significant challenge during the implementation of the updated handbook. It is therefore mandatory that the employees get notified of the updates done in the handbook regular to reduce the events of confusion and misunderstanding.
Taking into consideration that the firm has an employee number that amounts to 38 in total, provides health care services and that had previously not had any handbook made, I would recommend a handbook for the employees that in between 20 to 49 as that is the current state. Therefore the expected federal labor laws would include (Hood, Hardy & Simpson, 2016); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1993 and the Consolidated Omnibus Benefits Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1986). But since the company seeks to enlarge its market boundaries and increase the number of employees from 38 to 51, the handbook would need to be revised to allow the inclusion of the new labor laws for 51 employees. Therefore the new federal labor laws would include; Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, EEO-1 Report filed annually w/EEOC if organization is a federal contractor, Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 (for employers who offer mental health benefits). Also, Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (for employers who provide mental health benefits) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (for employers who provide health care benefits).
There are various policies that I could recommend regarding the behavior of the employees so that the organization’s image is boosted and raised (Wilensky, 2015). Some of the policies include; Sexual harassment policies, anti-discrimination policies, company property policy, social media policy and the drug, alcohol, and smoking policies. The above policies will guide the behavior of the employees throughout their tenure in the firm. Besides, the dress code policy, compensation, and benefits policy, leave policy as well as the exit policy would be stipulated and emphasized such that each policy explains clearly the procedures that fall under a specific category and therefore provides for the welfare of the employees. Again, considering that the firm will have multi-state operations, special considerations on the location and culture will need to be adhered to minimize any result of harm to the employees.
ReferencesArmstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2014). Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.
Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.
Hood, J., Hardy Jr, B., & Simpson, L. (2016). Workers’ compensation and employee protection laws in a nutshell. West Academic.
Ostroff, C., & Bowen, D. E. (2016). Reflections on the 2014 decade award: Is there strength in the construct of HR system strength?. Academy of Management Review, 41(2), 196-214.
Reason, J. (2016). Managing the risks of organizational accidents. Routledge.
Saila Huq, S. (2018). Human Resource Management Practices and Policies followed and applied by The City Bank Limited.
Wilensky, H. L. (2015). Organizational intelligence: Knowledge and policy in government and industry (Vol. 19). Quid Pro Books.