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.)
Whatever shape your employee handbook’s in, it could probably be better. More comprehensive. More clear. More helpful for communicating your rules and expectations clearly and keeping you out of a lawsuit.
An incomplete or incorrect handbook is more than just a nuisance. If it’s not drafted correctly, your handbook can actually lead you down the very path you’re hoping to avoid: The one that leads to the local courthouse.
Our fully updated HR Management & Compliance Report, the California Employee Handbook Template, includes 101 vital policies—written specifically for employers in California—including:
- At-Will Employment
- Employee Classifications
- Social Media Code of Conduct
- Right to Observe Employees
- Voice Mail, E-mail, Electronic and Computer Files, and Usage
- Appearance and Courtesy; Uniforms
- Equal Employment Opportunity
- Harassment Prohibited
- Retaliation Prohibited
- Bullying Prohibited
- Accommodation of Disabilities
- Zero Tolerance for Drugs or Alcohol in the Workplace
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- Progressive Discipline
- Rest Periods
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- Bereavement Leave
- COBRA Coverage for Health Insurance
- And 79 more!
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All of the policies in the California Employee Handbook Template have been drafted by an experienced California employment lawyer. Plus, we’ve provided practical information for every single policy on:
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