How to Revise an Employee Handbook

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If your employee handbook is still making references to a mainframe, it might be time for you to revise it. The information in your handbook must be up to date and accurate for all of your employees. A revised handbook will solidify employer expectations and protect the company if an employee decides to sue.

Read through your current employee handbook. Do not skim or scan the text -- a thorough read is important. Pretend that this is your first time reading the employee handbook.

Take note of the areas that make references to out-of-date technology, job positions that have been eliminated and antiquated laws or procedures. If you are reviewing an electronic document, search the document for all occurrences of the outdated references so you don't miss any terms that need to be removed.

Point out the employee handbook sections that can be removed entirely. The removals will probably be determined by whoever has the final say on publishing the handbook, but make your notes either way. If the handbook requires legal review, you'll need your notes to tell the legal department why the section should be removed.

Insert new text that reflects the company's current rules and policies. Do not delete the old text. Instead, insert the new text either above or below the original text and highlight it.

Submit a copy of the revised handbook for review. Take the comments and edits that are made and incorporate them into your final version. Return the handbook to the powers that be for final approval.

Tips & Warnings

  • Complete the entire review electronically using Adobe 8 Professional or Microsoft Word Track Changes feature. Both allow for a markup of the document that does not override original text
  • Don't rush the review. Plan to take 90 days to complete this task.

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