Easily Revise Your Employee Handbook
Did you know you can easily revise your employee handbook? PolicySmart is a great resource for accessing up-to-date handbook templates for your jurisdiction. You can use the templates in PolicySmart as a starting point and then edit them to fit your organization’s specific details, voice, and branding.
However, you may be wondering, “What happens when it’s time to update my edited version of the handbook? Do I really have to go through the entire editing process from beginning to end again?”
To revise and edit your employee handbook, you will need to make three versions of the document. The first version is the original. The second version is the working version. Finally, the third version is the final version.
Follow these steps to streamline your revising process:
- First, you have to create an original copy of your handbook. To do this, save an unedited copy of the handbook template downloaded from PolicySmart. Consider including the date the document was downloaded in the file name for future reference.
- Then, save a second copy of the unedited document you created in step 1. Make sure this new copy is clearly marked as your working version. That way, the original step 1 document remains unchanged.
- Now that you have two copies, open the working version in your word processor. As you make edits or revisions, you’ll want to enable track changes. This function is typically under the Review tab of most programs, like Google Docs and Microsoft Word.
- When you are ready to finalize and implement your handbook revisions, create a third final copy of the document. In this version, you will accept the changes that were tracked in the working version. During this step, you do not want to make any edits or accept changes to the working version. This version will be your new, working employee handbook until you’re ready for your next update or revision.
- When it is time to review your handbook, you will need to download a new copy of the handbook template from PolicySmart. Be sure to save the downloaded document as your most recent, unedited copy.
- Use a compare tool in your word processor to compare the document saved in step 1 to the document saved in step 5.
- Review the differences noted by the compare tool. This will be your guide to pinpoint the sections that need to be updated in your current handbook.
- Now, you’ll repeat step three. Track changes on where the compare tool finds legal updates to make to your handbook. Since this is a new version, you’ll want to make a new working copy. Next time, when you are ready to review or update your employee handbook, the cycle can easily continue!
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