As an annual celebration of the American workforce, the Labor Day holiday presents an opportune time for U.S. businesses to reflect on their greatest asset: their people. More than two years of dramatic change—marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, the explosion of remote and hybrid work, and the rise in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) initiativeshas changed the current landscape of the nature of work… not to mention its future.
Employers must consider how they will address these trends. And according to human resources experts, there has never been a better time for companies to benchmark their organizations’ HR policies against emerging best practices.
The best place to start, according to XpertHR—an HR strategy, compliance and data
provider—is by turning to the Holy Grail of HR documents: the humble employee
“The employee handbook is critical to keeping employees and supervisors aware of the organization’s policies and expectations, and is also an important reflection of company culture,” says Melissa Silver, Senior Legal Editor of Policy Solutions for XpertHR. “Keeping it up to date with rapidly changing workplace laws and trends allows employers to stay relevant within their industry and competitive with other organizations in their sector.”
To further support companies in their quest to weave best practices into their Holy Grail, XpertHR has issued three whitepapers:
- Designing an Employee Handbook for a Remote or Hybrid Workforce
- Using Your Employee Handbook to Attract Talent
- The 3C’s: Keep Your Handbook Compliance, Competitive and Culturally Relevant in 2022
New Data Offers Insights into Employee Handbook Compliance
Silver acknowledges that keeping an employee handbook compliant is a challenge in and of itself. Data from the XpertHR Employee Handbooks Survey Report shows that 51% of responding employers update their handbook on an “as needed” basis—which, according to Silver, reinforces the fact that an employee handbook is a living document that needs to be regularly reviewed and updated to not only reflect legal developments, but to ensure that the language contained therein remains culturally relevant.
In order to maintain compliance with federal, state and local laws, 34% of companies responded having one set of policies that are applicable regardless of jurisdiction, while 36% offer state and local addendums to their federally applicable policies. A whopping 76% of surveyed employers do not use any kind of handbook-building software to support their handbook creation efforts.
Silver points to Aptifore, a first-of-its kind employee handbook solution, as a way for employers to confidently stay on top of the shifting employment law landscape. Aptifore combines an extensive, current database of federal, state and local employment laws with an unrivaled selection of multi-jurisdictional policies. It allows customers to build custom handbooks, while ongoing, personalized alerts and insights support proactive handbook policy updates as legislation changes. Other features include access to vetted handbook policy templates, comprehensive guidance and compliance training (when combined with XpertHR’s full suite of risk and compliance solutions).
The XpertHR Employee Handbook Survey 2022 was conducted from Feb 22 to March 18, 2022. The survey included responses from 366 U.S. employers of various industries and workforce sizes, representing over 460,000 workers. The survey report explores the critical subject of employee handbooks, such as preparation, distribution, approaches to multi-jurisdictional compliance, challenges, resources and more.
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