HR Management & Compliance

Tips for Implementing New or Changing Employee Handbook Policies

Yesterday, we examined the question of whether you can implement a new policy that hasn’t officially been changed yet. Today, some tips for smooth implementation of policy changes, courtesy of Diana Gregory of Insperity.

Tips for Implementing New or Changing Policies

1. Decide which modes of communication will be appropriate for publishing the new or changed policy: e-mail, mass voice mail, company meetings, internal website, written distribution, posting in break room, web conferencing, mailing to employee homes, etc.

Choosing whether to use one, several, or all of these methods depends on the importance and impact of the policy, how your workforce is generally accustomed to receiving information, and geographic issues.

2. Explain to employees how the policy differs from current practice or from the previous policy. Define who is affected.

3. Inform employees when the change in the policy will take effect.

4. Define any “grandfathering” provisions.

5. Describe any transitional items, such as carryover, freeze, and “clearing of the slate” (attendance).


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6. Decide how you will obtain acknowledgements from employees that they have received the new or changed policy, who will monitor the receipt of acknowledgements, the time frame for signatures, etc.

7. Determine the actions that will be taken if an employee refuses to sign a new policy.

8. Include a disclaimer statement that reserves the right to change the policy at any time, with or without notice (subject to applicable law), that such policy (or employee handbook) is not a contract of any kind, and that it does not affect the at-will status (if applicable) of the employment relationship. (This step applies to nonunion environments.)  

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