Before you start working with your skilled and promising bunch of employees, you need to lay down the company policies in writing. This is important not only because you want to keep your employees aligned with your organizational values, but also because such written policies can shield your rights in case a hostile employee turns on you with false allegations. Company policies communicate how your employees are expected to behave and the consequences in case they do not adhere to the policies. But unfortunately, company policies are, many-a-time, the last thing on the minds of business owners and amid the heaps of tasks required for providing momentum to the business and keeping it up and running, the criticality of company policies is often forgotten. Every business is vulnerable to many risks and as you begin to expand your horizons, working with more clients and employees, the number of risk factors goes up. Minimizing such risks and the liabilities that come along is imperative and so is keeping everyone in the company on the same page. And, this can be achieved effectively through well-written company policies. Formulating effective policies and developing and maintaining the employee handbook can be a tricky job, on top of being a tedious one, but there are plenty of templates available which you can refine and use to suit your requirements.
Before you start developing new policies from scratch or fine-tuning the existing ones, have a look at the 10 basic policies that every business must have.
- Disciplinary Policy
In business, you are bound to come across situations where some or other employees wouldn’t work as per your expectations. They might miss deadlines, indulge in conflicts and get involved in unwanted activities. Your company needs to outline the consequences of such incidents. In case you decide to terminate an employee, your process would be smooth and straightforward if you already have a policy that cautions your employees about what could lead to termination.
- Dress Code Policy
Not all businesses require a dress code policy but some do, especially the ones that have customer or client facing team members. Your policy must clearly define what type of dress should employees wear to ensure that they represent your brand professionally and appropriately.
- Workplace Safety Policy
There is always some kind of risk involved inall office premises, be it a factory or a standard office complex. Your employees could injure themselves or fall sick even while doing the most simple and bland jobs. Workplace safety policies help you minimize liability in case something occurs due to an employees’ negligence.
- Tardiness and Absenteeism Policy
Too much of absenteeism on the part of employees can damage your business severely. Define the standard working hours clearly, including when the employees are expected to reach the office and how many hours they are expected to work. Also, it’s important to outline what will happen if someone is late or is taking too many days off.
- Device Usage Policy
You might land in legal hot water if your employees conduct any illegal activities from your company devices. As an employer, you need to protect your company from such risks by laying down proper device usage policies. You need to define what your employees can do and cannot do on the systems connected to your network.
- Vacation and Leave Policy
Your organization needs to have a vacation and leave policy that decides how many days of leave employees are allowed to take. Specify paid and unpaid vacations and the procedure of claiming them. Also, state in your policy under what circumstances they are allowed to take leaves and how they should inform the company about them.
- Social Media Usage Policy
Your employees interacting inappropriately on social media can severely damage the reputation of your organization. Thus, it’s good to outline what type of comments your employees can make in public forums while representing your company. Obviously, you cannot limit what they say on their personal accounts but you can ask them not to mention the business while posting specific types of comments.
- Confidentiality Policy
You can also include a confidentiality policy through which you can prohibit your employees from sharing specific types of information outside of your company. This might include restrictionson propriety data or client information.
- Harassment and Discrimination Policy
Every company should have a strict policy against harassment and discrimination in the organization. To minimize legal liabilities the employers must take adequate measures to prevent instances of harassment and discrimination. Also, you should clearly communicate what constitutes harassment and discrimination and what measures will be taken while dealing with such complaints.
- Drug Testing Policy
If any of your employees is a drug addict, it can be a serious threat to your business. Having a drug testing policy keeps your business safe. You can have an agreement with your employees regarding drug testing, to be done randomly or at specific times during their employment. The policy also needs to state what happens if the employee doesn’t pass the test. Overconsumption of drugs can account for absenteeism, injuries, and loss of productivity. A drug testing policy can help you maintain a productive and safe environment.
You can add more policies, suiting your requirements and depending on what kind of culture you want to promote in your organization. However, these 10 are the basic ones that form the foundation of safe and productive work culture.