There’s No Better Way to Honor Labor Day Than by Improving HR Practices

Investing in employee relations has never been more important;
XpertHR offers employers 10 dos and don’ts to consider

New York City (August 30, 2022) – As an annual celebration of the American workforce, the Labor Day holiday presents an opportune time for U.S. businesses to reflect on their greatest asset: their people. More than two years of dramatic change—marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, the explosion of remote and hybrid work, and the rise in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) initiatives—has changed the current landscape of the nature of work... not to mention its future.

Employers must consider how they will address these trends. And according to human resources experts, there has never been a better time for companies to benchmark their organizations’ HR policies against emerging best practices.

The best place to start, according to XpertHR®—an HR strategy, compliance and data provider—is by turning to the Holy Grail of HR documents: the humble employee handbook.

To help HR proactively address these trends, XpertHR has issued its Top 10 list of HR best practices dos and don’ts. The list includes:



  1. Do include employee benefit policies that set the organization apart. Highlight competitive, in-demand perks like remote work, tuition reimbursement, student loan repayment, wellness initiatives, community service days or floating holidays.
  1. Don’t use free templates from internet searches. Cutting corners with free templates is risky. Who wrote the template; are they credible and trustworthy? When was the template last updated; is it reliable and compliant?
  1. Do offer policies addressing DEIB. These policies enhance employee morale and retention. Companies should prominently place these policies at the beginning of the handbook, before the discrimination and harassment policies, so that employees understand the employer’s commitment to DEIB at the outset.
  1. Don’t stay stuck in the past. Staying ahead of workplace trends and being culturally relevant is important. Failing to update the language, tone and contents within certain policies may send the message that the company is disinterested in creating a positive work experience. Draconian language and an unwillingness to recognize and adapt to the current times will lead to employees sending their resumes elsewhere.
  1. Do use inclusive language. Inclusion isn’t just culturally relevant right now; it is also important for creating a healthy and productive work environment. One way to demonstrate a commitment to inclusion is to replace binary pronouns such as “he/she”, “him/her” and “his/her” with non-binary pronouns such as “they”, “them” and “their” in handbook policies. Reflect this wider social trend so that transgender and non-binary workers do not feel excluded or marginalized.
  1. Don’t overload the handbook with legalese. Overly complicated handbooks may have the unintended effect of discouraging employees from reading them—which is already a challenge for 68% of employers.1 Avoid multiple interpretations and misinterpretations of policies by using clear, everyday language.
  1. Do view the handbook through the lens of employee retention and recruitment. No handbook contains the secret recipe, master growth plan or any real financials, so why keep it a secret? Handbooks reflect an organization’s values and benefits and can be used by both employees and prospective candidates to determine whether an organization is the real deal.
  1. Don’t include the full employee, unemployment or workers’ compensation benefits. These details are all subject to change regularly and would need to be updated on a near-constant basis.
  1. Do comply with employment laws in effect where remote work is being performed. It's critical for employers to be familiar with and comply with the state and local employment laws in effect where their remote employees are physically located and their work is being performed.
  1. Don’t forget the acknowledgment form. It shows that the employer takes the handbook seriously and is useful when enforcing any of the handbook provisions.

Bonus Best Practice: Do include a remote work or hybrid work policy, if applicable. Employers will want to define what remote or hybrid work means to their organization, including which roles are remote versus hybrid, as well as any obligations employees have for maintaining data security, protected or confidential information and use of public wi-fi. They’ll also want to tweak policies on harassment, attendance, paid time off, confidentiality, leaves, and wage and hour.

“The employee handbook is critical to keeping employees and supervisors aware of the organization’s policies and expectations, and is also an important reflection of company culture,” says Melissa Silver, Senior Legal Editor of Policy Solutions for XpertHR. “Keeping it up to date with rapidly changing workplace laws and trends allows employers to stay relevant within their industry and competitive with other organizations in their sector.”

To further support companies in their quest to weave best practices into their Holy Grail, XpertHR has issued three whitepapers:


New Data Offers Insights into Employee Handbook Compliance

Silver acknowledges that keeping an employee handbook compliant is a challenge in and of itself. Data from the XpertHR Employee Handbooks Survey Report shows that 51% of responding employers update their handbook on an “as needed” basis—which, according to Silver, reinforces the fact that an employee handbook is a living document that needs to be regularly reviewed and updated to not only reflect legal developments, but to ensure that the language contained therein remains culturally relevant.

In order to maintain compliance with federal, state and local laws, 34% of companies responded having one set of policies that are applicable regardless of jurisdiction, while 36% offer state and local addendums to their federally applicable policies. A whopping 76% of surveyed employers do not use any kind of handbook-building software to support their handbook creation efforts.

Silver points to Aptifore™, a first-of-its kind employee handbook solution, as a way for employers to confidently stay on top of the shifting employment law landscape. Aptifore combines an extensive, current database of federal, state and local employment laws with an unrivaled selection of multi-jurisdictional policies. It allows customers to build custom handbooks, while ongoing, personalized alerts and insights support proactive handbook policy updates as legislation changes. Other features include access to vetted handbook policy templates, comprehensive guidance and compliance training (when combined with XpertHR’s full suite of risk and compliance solutions).

“A handbook that is out-of-date and out-of-touch can impact employee morale and retention,” Silver says. “HR professionals should consider if their handbook complies with current laws, is competitive in today’s workforce, and culturally relevant to employees. If they can’t affirm all three of these are true, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.”

To learn more about how Aptifore is helping companies build better employee handbooks, and to book a free demo, visit

Survey Note
The XpertHR Employee Handbook Survey 2022 was conducted from Feb 22 to March 18, 2022. The survey included responses from 366 U.S. employers of various industries and workforce sizes, representing over 460,000 workers. The survey report explores the critical subject of employee handbooks, such as preparation, distribution, approaches to multi-jurisdictional compliance, challenges, resources and more.

About XpertHR®

Global leader XpertHR empowers organizations to shape HR strategy, manage employee risk and embrace diverse talent ecosystems to create equitable, high-performing and purposeful workplaces. Since 2002, the data analytics and intelligent solutions provider has earned a reputation for providing expert insights, trusted resources and practical tools to help customers achieve greater efficiency, improve compliance and increase employee engagement. XpertHR is proud to be part of the LexisNexis® portfolio within RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. To learn more visit

Media Contact

Lauren Doyle
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1 Source: XpertHR Employee Handbook Survey 2022.