Policies and procedures! Yep, we know they are two of the most boring words in business.
But, if you don’t get them right, it can cause a few headaches you won’t want to deal with.
So, let’s look at these super exciting documents in a little more detail.
Which policies and procedures does your business need, how can you make sure they are followed by your team, and what can you do if they aren’t?
How To Make Sure Your Policies and Procedures Are Followed
What Are Business Policies and Procedures?
Policies and procedures are essential components of your business operations. They provide a framework and guidelines for employees to follow while carrying out their duties. Your workplace’s specific policies and procedures ensure consistency, compliance with laws and regulations, and efficient business operations.
While the specifics and tone of your policies and procedures may vary depending on the nature of the business, here are the policies we feel every business should have:
Code of Conduct
A business code of conduct is a set of guidelines and principles that outline the expected behaviour and “conduct” for individuals working within an organisation. It helps to serve as a moral compass and establishes a framework for ethical decision-making and responsible business practices. It promotes integrity, transparency and compliance throughout all levels of the business.
Disciplinary Policy and Procedure
A disciplinary policy outlines the guidelines and procedures of how an organisation handles disciplinary matters like employee misconduct or performance issues. It provides a structured framework for addressing violations of company policies, rules, or standards of behaviour and defines the consequences that may result from any misconduct.
The reason it is documented into a policy ensures consistency and fair treatment of employees while maintaining a productive and respectful work environment.
Health and Safety Policy
Your Health and Safety policy outlines your organisation’s commitment to providing employees, visitors, and customers with a safe and healthy work environment. It includes procedures for identifying and managing hazards, reporting incidents, and implementing safety measures.
Drug and Alcohol Policy
A Drug and Alcohol policy is exactly as it sounds. A set of guidelines that demonstrate how to deal with issues related to drug and alcohol use in the workplace. It is meant to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive work environment for all while mitigating the risks associated with using these substances. It sets out the company’s stance on drugs and alcohol, names prohibited substances, explains testing and screening, and specifies consequences and disciplinary action.
Your company vehicle policy sets out the rules for vehicles owned or provided by the company for business purposes. It should include the expectations, responsibilities, and procedures that relate to the use, maintenance, and safety of the company vehicles.
Why You Need These Policies and Procedures
The various policies and procedures we just mentioned are what you can use to put your company rules and expectations into practice. Here are just a few of the ways these documents and processes can help you do that:
- Set clear expectations for your employees
- Identify and manage risks within your organisation
- Allow for easier management decisions
- Reduced risk of misunderstandings when it comes to employment conditions
- Become a reference point for legislation and other compliance matters
- Maintain consistency throughout all company branches and locations
- Support good training and onboarding
- Act as a backup for your employment agreements
- Aid with crisis management and business continuity
Creating and Maintaining Your Policies and Procedures
If you don’t have any of the ‘must have’ policies that we mentioned in the above list, then now is the time to create them. You can get assistance with this from trained HR professionals, like the team here at Spice HR.
It’s also important to seek the input of your team when putting these policies together. Often, they are the ones on the ground, keeping the business running, so their thoughts and feedback will be invaluable for creating appropriate policies and procedures.
If you do already have these documents created, think about when the last time was that you updated them. If it’s been a while, then it might be time to review them. This will help to ensure that your policies and procedures remain relevant to your business. Look to review these on an annual basis and when there are any major changes within your organisation.
Communicating Your Expectations
It is all well and good to have these policies in place, but it is important that the information contained within them is communicated to your team.
Here are a few ways that you can do that:
- Onboarding: When a new team member joins your organisation, ensure that instruction on the relevant policies and procedures is given during the onboarding process.
- Easy access: Ensure your policies and procedures are stored in an area that is easily accessible by all your team. An intranet or cloud-based shared folder is ideal.
- Share updates: When you conduct your annual policy review, make sure to share any changes with your team so that they are aware of any new expectations.
- Provide training: Ongoing professional development will be one of your companies KPI’s. So, relate your training and education back to your policies and procedures where appropriate to ensure the information stays current and relevant.
- Role modelling: Leading from the front is a technique that all your managers and leaders should be adopting, and this is no different from role modelling the good behaviours set out in your various policies and procedures.
What Happens If a Policy Is Breached?
Inevitably, there will be times when policies are breached by members of your staff. Whether it is intentional or accidental, it is important that any such breaches are dealt with efficiently.
Of course, the first step is to look at your Investigation and Disciplinary process. This will set out how to deal with the issue and who should be involved in the process. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may choose to include your HR team (or an HR expert like Spice HR) to make sure everything is handled correctly.
Whether the consequence is simply a conversation, performance management or disciplinary action, you want to ensure that you use timely and open communication and feedback throughout the process. Also, document everything so you know what has taken place. Then, if you need to seek advice, you can show your HR expert what has taken place.
Get Those Policies Put Together
How are the policies and procedures looking at your workplace? If they need some attention, now is the time to do it, as you don’t want to be caught short without the necessary processes in place.
And if you need support, help or guidance on how to put them all together, reach out to the Spice Gals today. We can make sure you have all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed when it comes to your policies and procedures. Book a time to chat with us now.