October 25, 2021, by HR Search & Rescue An employee handbook is an essential living document that can define the type of workplace you run as well as the efficiency and productivity of the workplace. Most employee handbooks have basic starter policies that can include sections that define a code of conduct, anti-discrimination efforts, and compliance-guided benefits. However, if you’ve experienced company growth or management challenges in the past few years, these policies may not be enough. To better protect your employees and business, it may be time to modernize your employee handbook and add a few new, relevant policies. Optional Employee Handbook Policies To Include These policies can help improve your attractiveness as an employer and also create a more seamless, modern, and productive work environment. Here are 3 optional yet effective policies to consider adding to your employee handbook. 1. Communications Policy A clear communications policy may have been optional in the past, but it’s more important than ever in our current technological age. Do you provide your employees with laptops, cell phones, or other devices? Do you really know how those devices are being used — and if you don’t, how are employees supposed to know? Your communications policy should explicitly state the expectations of the appropriate use of devices and behavior on those devices. Employees should have a clear understanding that when they use company equipment, they’re acting as a representative of your company. Define the scope of use, the purpose of use, and also inform employees whether or not their usage is being tracked. Additionally, make sure they understand that other company policies, such as anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and ethics policies extend to all forms of communication and all devices. 2. Flexibility Work Arrangement Policy If you’re getting a significant amount of requests for job flexibility such as remote work or travel requests, it may be time to put a formal policy in place. With careful planning and a clear policy for supervisors and employees, you can make sure productivity isn’t jeopardized and your work environment is productive and modern. Make sure to include which types of work arrangements are available to workers such as remote working hours, who is eligible and for what projects, and how productivity is to be tracked. 3. Complaint-Resolution Policy Another severely overlooked section is the complaint-resolution section. In this section, employers have the opportunity to create a policy that outlines how employees are to submit complaints and what they should expect regarding response and path to resolution. This makes it clear from the start how disputes are handled and demonstrates to employees you are available and have their best interests at heart. Employees will appreciate the chance to be heard; this also gives you the opportunity to address conflicts you might not otherwise have known about, allowing you to diffuse workplace distractions sooner. Try to appoint a qualified person or committee to be the primary point of contact for handling employee complaints. Also, be sure to outline the steps employees should take prior to filing a complaint. Explain in clear terms how complaints are then investigated and dealt with. Speak With Our Independent HR Consultants Overall, these little-known employee handbook policies can go a long way toward preventing HR headaches and reducing employer liabilities. As an employer, it is crucial to keep an open mind to new workplace trends and consider what works best for employees because this option will be the most likely path to a more effective workforce. Speak with one of our expert consultants today to learn more about which policies you may be overlooking.