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Revise Your Handbook to Minimize Employee Misconduct This Year

Employees who know what is expected are more likely to act ethically

Posted by Timothy Dimoff on January 7th, 2014

Every company, no matter the size, needs an employee handbook outlining company policies. And the start of the New Year is a perfect time to review and update your handbook. A handbook outlining your company policies and your Code of Conduct is paramount to preventing and dealing with bullying, employee issues, HR issues, and minimizing employee misconduct.

Your company may have grown or had changes in its organizational structure, which are two reasons alone that policies may need to change. Changes to laws, or union rules and rights governing workplace issues may also necessitate changes to your company policies.

Eliminate HR Headaches

Workplace grievances that result from poorly articulated company polices are often a big cause of problems between supervisors and subordinates, as well as the root of many other human resource issues. Your handbook formally establishes guidelines by which employees are made to understand conduct, rules, morality, ethics, safety, privacy, hiring, workplace issues, customer service, and more.

An outdated employee handbook increases employee frustration, as they don’t understand the rules, Code of Conduct, guidelines etc., which can result in a reduction of your company’s overall output, i.e. your bottom line! A well written handbook outlining your company’s policies can help it to run smoothly and save hours of management time.

Reduce Employee Misconduct

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An employee handbook is an ever-changing document. Reviewing and updating your handbook is a big job but should be done annually because laws and situations change. Your human resource manager and business attorney should review your handbook and make any necessary changes. The policy should be written as simply as possible so it is easy to follow and understand. Include the values and benefits of any policy changes, as well as the methods used for enforcement.

Code of Conduct

Be sure to also include a Code of Conduct, which covers the ethics portion, compliance objectives and enforcement issues. This is especially important to help your employees understand what conduct is acceptable and more importantly, what conduct is unacceptable!

A code of conduct also addresses:

  • how to make a report
  • what are the consequences for actions
  • who in the company are responsible for conduct evaluation

Codes of Conduct are linked to legal compliance, organizational policies, and rules, so it is important to keep everything synchronized and up to date.

Make sure to give a copy of the handbook to each employee and discuss any policy changes with them. This can be done in a general employee meeting, answering any questions they might have.

Timothy Dimoff
Timothy Dimoff

President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services

Timothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues.
He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University.

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