Is Your Employee Handbook Collecting Dust?
Unless you are a new company who just penned your employee handbook, odds are that yours hasn’t been updated in quite some time – at least not a major overhaul. The way we work and what our employees come to expect from a workplace have changed a lot over the past couple of years. Of course, 2020 has been the year of unpredictability, but even before all the craziness, how any team works is ever evolving.
Today’s employees can’t embrace the 9-5 workday like they did in the past. Why? Work life balance has become difficult to maintain and nearly impossible to separate the two. Gone are the days where it’s common for 1 parent to stay home and manage the kids and household. So what does this all have to do with updating your Employee Handbook – EVERYTHING! Employees need flexibility now more than ever.
Rigid rules where an employee is penalized for taking a personal day last minute to handle an emergency or leave work early to catch a kid’s soccer game are a thing of the past. Employees are no longer prioritizing jobs over family. Life is short and no one will ever say on their death bed that they wished they stayed to finish their month-end report instead of watching little Joey score the game winning goal. Adapting now to the new way of working will help you keep dedicated and exceptional employees.
Consider adding these to your handbook if you haven’t already:
Flex time: As long as your employee gets their work done, does it matter when they do it? If they need an afternoon off and can get their work done later that night or by working a few extra hours early in the morning, why not let them. Unless it needs to be done at a specific time, allow your employees some flexibility in their hours.
Summer hours: Trust me, at 2 pm on a hot, sunny Friday afternoon, no one is getting much work done. They are already daydreaming about what they are doing after work, this weekend, etc. Consider letting employees take Friday afternoons off between Memorial Day and Labor Day by cutting their lunches short or coming in a half hour early each day.
Working remote: While this may have been forced on many people in 2020, many people are finding that their employees are happier and more productive. Why? No rush hour traffic, less stress with getting the kids ready and out the door, less worrying about things they need to do outside work – your morning 15 minute coffee break is now a great time to run the vacuum, fold a load of laundry, or check in on the kids. I think home offices are going to be trending for quite some time. And it saves the employer overhead costs too!
More vacation time: Did you know that employees who take more vacation time are actually happier more successful AND productive employees? Not only should you be encouraging your employees to use every last minute of PTO time, but it might be time to take another look at your earned vacation time. One week is just not enough – especially if you need to work a full year before taking it. PS – at The Red Barn we have a minimum 4 week vacation rule and there are zero issues with taking a mental health day when it’s needed.
In the long run, it costs a company far less money to keep good employees and make sure they are happy, than it does to keep turning over unhappy employees. Does your company have a cool perk – we’d love to hear what it is – send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.