Updating Your Employee Handbook? Four Reasons to Hire an HR ConsultantBy Mary Gormandy White
Is it time to update your employee handbook or manual? Are you wondering if you should handle the task internally or hire a human resource management consultant to work with you on the project? While the matter of how much help you might need is a function of how much time and expertise that you have within your organization, it’s a fact that working with an outside consultant to some extent is something that can benefit virtually every organization dealing with an employee handbook update.
Four Benefits of Hiring an HR Consultant to Update Your Employee Handbook
Separating Policies from Practices
When updating or finalizing policies and procedures, it’s always beneficial to get the perspective of someone with expertise specific to both state and federal laws who doesn’t operate under the influence of how things are carried out on a day-to-day basis within your organization. Bringing in someone with an unbiased point of view to review or help with the development your company’s policies can be a great way to make sure that your organization isn’t burdening itself with unnecessary restrictions in some areas while establishing standards that are too lax in others simply because that’s how things have “always been done”.
Third Party Perspective
A consultant can provide feedback and insight regarding how policy wording comes across to an “outsider”, which can be invaluable when evaluating your policies for clarity. Those within your organization, particularly individuals who are involved with enforcing policies and who were involved in writing the policies originally, know how the policies were intended and how they are interpreted and applied on an ongoing basis. When someone who is external to your organization reviews your handbook, that person can help you make sure that your policies are clearly written and can easily be understood by someone who doesn’t know what you intended them to say before you started writing them.
Identify Missing Policies
Reviewing your current policies to make sure they read well and say what you need them to say is only one part of updating your employee manual. While you may be able to handle that part without external guidance, what’s difficult to do internally is to identify holes in your current publication. If it’s been more than a few months since you completed an employee handbook, chances are that you need to add is several policies to the items currently included in your manual – ranging from social networking to text messaging to modern standards for professional dress. A knowledgeable human resource management consultant can help you identify the areas that are missing from your current handbook and help you create effective policies to adopt moving forward.
Completing a full employee handbook update can take a significant amount of time. Because internal HR personnel spend so much time dealing with urgent issues, handbook updates often end up getting pushed to the back burner, being put off for when there’s time to work on it. Unfortunately, with pressing matters always taking priority, the task of working on the employee manual always seems to be at the bottom of the list. When you a hire a consultant to update your employee handbook, that person can carve out large blocks of time to focus exclusively on the project, giving the project the time and attention that is required.
Selecting the Right HR Consultant
Once you have decided to enlist the assistance of an HR consultant to help update your employee handbook, the next step involves finding someone who is qualified to help. Look for a consultant who holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification with extensive experience developing policies and making real-world managerial decisions based on policies in a professional environment.