Professional Service Agreement

It's Time to Update Your Employee Handbook

May 07, 2014

No organization should operate without consistent, clear employer-employee communication, which is a key element for productive and profitable employee relations. The employee handbook is the basic internal written document that provides employees with two major pieces of information in response to the questions:

• What can employees and their families expect from the organization?
• What does the organization expect from employees?

A well-written employee handbook answers these questions clearly, persuasively, and honestly. Indeed, an employee handbook is the cornerstone of the employer-employee relationship.

Changes in state and federal employment laws require that employee handbooks be revised and updated. Internal policy changes should also be reflected in the organization's handbook. Consider some of these issues:

• Does your handbook have a valid employment-at-will statement?
• Does your handbook allow for "concerted activity?"
• Are there clear procedures regarding overtime and prohibitions against working off the clock?
• Is it clear that the organization reserves the right to change or eliminate benefits?
• If you are subject to FMLA, does the handbook address military family leave?
• Is your organization required to provide breaks for nursing mothers?
• Do you have a policy regarding employees' use of social media?

SESCO Management Consultants has reviewed and developed thousands of employee handbooks in all industries and professions. SESCO handbooks are compliant with both state and federal employment regulations, and they are a valuable tool for communicating the organizations' policies and procedures. If you would like to have your handbook reviewed or want to develop an employee handbook for the first time, you may contact SESCO by phone at 423-764-4127 or by email at