4 Policies Your Company Should Have In Writing
Good policies are an essential part of any organization. All policies are important, but some are more important than others. As you create, revise or update your employee handbook, here are four company policies to make sure you include:
Many state laws and some federal laws require businesses to maintain anti-discrimination/harassment policies, but regardless of which laws apply to your organization, it is a good idea to create robust policies in this area. These policies can be fairly straightforward, establishing that your company won’t discriminate against applicants based on race, sex, age, disability, etc. The policies should also prohibit harassment, provide some simple definitions and examples of what harassment might look like, lay out the process for reporting harassment and the consequences if an employee is found in violation of the policies. Good anti-harassment policies will help foster a work environment where employees feel safe and respected.
Ultimately, corporate policies help your employees know what they can expect from the company and what the company expects from them. Along with laying out acceptable behavior, policies should clearly state what behavior will not be tolerated. Misconduct policies should include what disciplinary steps will be taken when an employee breaks the rules and what behavior will result in termination. Having these expectations in writing will help protect your company against disgruntled employees and wrongful termination lawsuits.
Whether your company’s workers are operating heavy machinery, stocking shelves or sitting at computers, they face some level of risk. Workplace safety policies are a must to help prevent costly accidents and ensure compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Along with following OSHA’s safety standards for your industry, your safety policies should tell employees what to do in the case of an emergency and lay out proper procedures for work tasks that could be dangerous.
Use of technology
In the era of social media and constant connectivity, it’s important to outline expectations for how your employees use technology. To protect your organization against liability, these policies should expressly prohibit workers from conducting illegal activities on company computers or devices connected to the company network. Use of technology policies may also include guidelines for how employees use social media both in and outside of work, as negative or controversial posts from employees can impact your company’s reputation.
As you craft these and other important company policies, remember that policies should be living, changing documents. Use a policy management software like PowerDMS to collaborate on policy updates, disseminate policies to employees and track electronic signatures to make sure you protect both your employees and your company.